World Cinema takes a break from their normal fare this week to present the winner of the Twin Rivers Media Festival, Left Turn Yield. The film is a character study about two brothers, Scott (Bryan Ryan) and Kyle (Jeremy Denzlinger). Scott is a responsible restaurateur with a girlfriend, Veronica (Pam Green), while Kyle is mentally challenged, having suffered brain trauma in the car accident that killed their mother 10 years ago.
The crux of the drama lies in Kyle’s fixation on an unaccountably highfalutin, public-access TV personality, Traci (Allessandria Alamilla), who he has become convinced looks like his late mother. None too surprisingly, she’s not interested in his attentions and views him more or less as a stalker. After all, this is a guy who wears Transformers T-shirts and has become stuck in his childhood—plus “You look like my mother” isn’t a top-10 pickup line. When it doesn’t work out with Traci, trouble surfaces when Scott’s girlfriend Veronica kisses Kyle. From there, it becomes a question of various secrets being revealed (including a What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? plot device) and a change in the perception of how things really are.
The film isn’t great, and was obviously made on a very tight budget, making it look more than a little ragged. Also some of the performances are a little stilted, but Ryan and Denzlinger save the day with strong turns as the brothers. Plus, even though the story ends up feeling a bit contrived, it’s still fairly solid, and the dialogue is pleasantly unforced. At only a few minutes over an hour in length, the film knows when to stop, which is also in its favor. It may not set the world on fire, but it’s a good example of a filmmaker, Daniel B. Story, managing to pull off a movie on limited resources.