Friday, August 13, 2010

"Bubble" a Steven Soderbergh Film with Dustin Ashley and Debbie Doebereiner

Kyle and Martha work in a doll factory. He is a young twenty something, while she is an older mid thirties, overweight woman. He lives with his mom in a trailer, while she lives with her disabled father and cares for him. Kyle is aimlessly looking for something to define his life. Martha has defined her life by the rut she has found herself in. Each morning she picks Kyle up and they drive to work. At night, the routine is reversed as they drive back to their respective homes.

When Rose, a twenty something, divorced young woman, comes to work at the doll factory, Martha's world is threatened. There is an attraction between Rose, who is not all she appears to be, and Kyle. Martha is the proverbial third wheel. Her pain is palpable when Rose asks her to babysit her daughter while she goes on a date with Kyle. Martha is not happy.

When Rose and Kyle return, Kyle does not stay, the situation is too awkward. While Martha and Rose are talking, Rose's ex shows up, demanding that she return some money and belongings that she has stolen. Only the presence of Martha keeps the situation from turning violent. Meantime, Kyle has arrived back home and discovered that his money, which he kept in a dresser drawer, is missing.

When Rose is found dead, strangled while her daughter slept in the next room, suspicion at first falls on the ex. But soon Martha's world begins to crumble around her as she becomes the suspect in, and is finally charged with, the murder of Rose.

A masterfully directed film, with a slow pace that mimicks reality, this movie is engrossing in it's minimal approach to what should be high drama. The superbly underplayed performances by Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin Ashley and Misty Wilkins are perfectly suited to Steven Soderbergh's direction. This is an unusual and haunting film.

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