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IN SHORT: Good indie. Well conceived and acted, but slow. [Rated [R], 105 minutes]
Most start up indie or post collegiate tend to look the same: minimal casts and locations. Lots of people standing around talking in a script that substitutes a lot of yadda yadda for character development. Twin Falls Idaho is unique in that it's reason for being uses a story device that Cranky has never seen in a non-horror flick, that being that the main characters are conjoined. That means Siamese Twins to the rest of us. So Cranky awards extra points for creativity to Mark and Michael Polish, who split the writing chores and play brothers Blake and Francis Falls, twins who live in a seedy hotel on Idaho Avenue in AnyCity, USA.
Blake Falls (Mark Polish) is healthy. Francis Falls (Michael Polish) is not. Both have come to AnyCity in search of Mom (Leslie Ann Warren), who abandoned them after their birth. On the anniversary of the day of their birth, they share a birthday cake and hire a prostitute named Penny (Michele Hicks) who runs for cover at first sight of her johns. But, in the best gold hearted whore fashion, Penny brings a doctor friend back to the hotel to have a look at Francis. From there on, a touching friendship develops as Penny watches out for the boys, even taking them partying on the one night of the year when their condition is invisible to the human eye -- Halloween.
As word gets out, Penny's various friends and acquaintances all want a piece. A gay friend Trey (Ant), wants to shoot photos and wonders out loud "wouldn't it be tragic if one liked boys and the other liked girls?" Her lawyer/procurer Jay (Jon Gries) is thinking of the money the twins could generate; Her best friend Sissy (Teresa Hill) is supportive and her doctor friend Miles (Patrick Bauchau) is as worried for Penny, who he sees developing more than fondness for one of the twins, as he is for the boys. Tragedy is looming, because as Francis gets sicker and sicker, Penny falls more and more for healthy brother Blake.
The real tragedy is that this story moves with the pace of a turtle. While teevee star cameos keep it interesting -- in addition to Bauchau and Warren you get William Katt as the hospital surgeon who will have to separate the twins and Garrett Morris as Jesus, who injects a well needed dose of energy into this film.
Overall, Twin Falls Idaho presents a fascinating story of sibling relationships and, from conception to execution, is a cut above most of the other indie flicks I sit through. Only its languid pace stops it from being superior.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Twin Falls Idaho, he would have paid...
Pay per view level. As with anything independent, you have to be of a mind to see it. Twin Falls Idaho may find its best distribution on the Sundance Channel.
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