Cole, a popular, young health aide at a nursing home living in rural Appalachia, makes ends meet by redistributing excess medication from townies to local buyers. Among a community low on opportunities but seemingly awash in pill bottles, he envisions himself as a caretaker, genuinely fond of his suppliers and keeping addicted customers out of the path of the town’s menacing kingpin. The fragile balance of his double life is suddenly threatened when childhood friend Terry Rose returns after years away with plans to capitalize on what he perceives as Cole’s place in the local drug trade.
Director Braden King (Here, 2011 Sundance Film Festival) imbues warmth and authenticity throughout his depiction of this community and its surrounding landscape, allowing us to share in Cole’s deeply felt attachment to his home. This emotional connection amplifies the tension when his dilemma threatens the town's teetering future. Writer Elizabeth Palmore’s adaptation of Carter Sickels’s novel of the same name mines depth and nuance from its beautiful, damaged characters and finds compassion for even their most desperate choices.
CATEGORY U.S. Dramatic Competition
RUN TIME 115 min
COMPANY Secret Engine