‘Unconformity’ — a movie about rocks, sort of! - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

‘Unconformity’ — a movie about rocks, sort of!

 ‘Unconformity’ — a movie about rocks, sort of!

“Unconformity” follows the life of Alex ( Alex Oliver) who is obsessed with rocks and rock climbing. A research scholar in Boston, she feels she’s on the verge of a major breakthrough. Excited at the idea that she’s going to make her mark, she shares the news with her colleague and boyfriend Gary (Ben Baur) who cautions her to hold her findings. 

You know the old saying about being careful who you trust. As the warning is always about the proximity of those you hold close, right? Well, Gary presents Alex’s idea as if it’s his own. He snatches her funding. Discouraged and angry, Alex goes deep into the Nevada High desert to go deeper into her research, determined to find out more. 

A woman fueled by adventure who chases the adrenaline high of rock climbing she borrows research equipment from Dr. Edwina Beatty (Rachel Pate) but refuses to listen to her concerned thesis advisor Petro’s (Drew Gehling) about her plans. On the road, alone in an unforgiving desert, she finally realizes what she’s up against. Just when the isolation was threatening to squeeze her soul she stumbled upon an equally isolated rancher Nick (Jack Mulhern), a cowboy struggling to deal with the weight of the responsibilities of owning a cattle ranch with his father, Everett (Jeremy Holm). 

Nick and Alex find fast chemistry and she teaches him to rock-climb while they ponder the path that brought them together. But nothing about love is simple and more significant and complex conflicts present themselves. 

The performances of Alex Oliver and Jack Mulhern are solid. The other actors in the film, not so much. You believe that Oliver’s character is all ambitious and suffering from the damage of betrayal. 

“Unconformity” is a character-driven drama about the uncertainty of finding what makes your life worth living. A universal quest and one everyone will always understand. 

In the press notes the director Jonathan DiMaio offers this:
“Unconformity began seven years ago. I was hopping between jobs on film sets and completing post-production on my second short when a geologist friend asked me to be the field camp manager for a class she was teaching in the high desert. Film work was scarce in winter, so I spent over a month in the Mojave Desert …. ‘Unconformity’ is the culmination of my research and these experiences.”

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