A review of ďNovemberĒ by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ***

Rating: R for violence and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 13 minutes

 

Abstract in the extreme but strangely satisfying, November has mind-bender written all over it.

A nice evening out ends in tragedy when professional photographer Sophie Jacobs (Courteney Cox playing against type) and her lawyer squeeze (James LeGros as Hugh) stop at a convenience store for a late-night snack.

While Sophie cools her heels in the car (and places a quickie call to her sometime lover) Hugh is murdered inside the store during a bloody hold-up.Unable to cope with her guilt Sophie starts seeing a therapist (Nora Dunn) while going about the business of teaching at her local art college.

But itís not business as usual.A mysterious slide appears in a studentís photo presentation showing the convenience store with Sophieís car parked in front.Things go bump in the night; static-filled phone messages deliver Hughís voice from the grave.

Thatís just the first incarnation of this gutsy little movie-that-could.As Sophie digs deeper into her psyche and the tragic events of November 7 all is not status quo.Perhaps Hugh had left her because of her extracurricular affair.She herself may have been in the store when Hugh was murdered, an eyewitness suffering traumatic blackout.

Writer/director Greg Harrison keeps the action tight while offering up alternative treatments, each more sinister and ambiguous than the last.A derivative indie-ness seeps through the narrative, leaving in its wake a subtle pretentiousness thatís difficult to dismiss.But Novemberís cool visual tones and spatial distortions are enough to maintain intrigue throughout.