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Parents' Guide to

The Wake of Light

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Soulful journey is visual poetry, but story lacks depth.

Movie NR 2021 80 minutes
The Wake of Light Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Only the most artistic of kids will appreciate this film that doesn't fit neatly into any one genre, given that its strength is in its aesthetics. Almost completely shot using natural light, it's a contemplative drama that's beautifully filmed but light on story. In fact, there's not much more to it than summary above. An extraordinary number of the movie's shots are of characters staring at stuff and piano-music montages of people walking around in the golden grass or farmland. At times, it almost feels like The Wake of Light is a music video for pianist Josh Kramer. And, while it's admirable that writer/director Renji Philip wrote two substantial supporting roles for characters with disabilities, non-disabled actor Tyler Steelman's energetic, childlike portrayal of a young man (maybe a teen? maybe older?) with an unspecified developmental disability may leave some viewers cringeing.

Mary and Cole are on opposite paths. She dreams of exploring America but is stuck in her small town because she has to care for her father. Conversely, he's on a cross-country trip to pay homage to his late father -- and, we learn, is dodging an obligation. They spend a flirtatious couple of days together. But those days make an impact on the future of their lives. It's something many adults can relate to: A person enters your life for a short time, even if you're not looking at developing a future with them, they can play a key role in developing your future. This drama takes viewers on a journey, but you've got to have some life experience to appreciate it. And even then, you might not.

Movie Details

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