20 April 2012 | EmmaDinkins
Chix Chat on Film Review: A training day in Baltimore
The star power in this film immediately captured my attention. Scene upon scene brought a new recognizable well established actor on screen, which is so atypical when viewing Indie films. The film LUV is a fictionalized account of actual events that occurred in the writer director Sheldon Candis' life as he spent time with his uncle. I was fortunate in that the viewing of this film was a film festival DIFF 2012 at which Mr. Candis was in attendance and could provide some insight into how the story evolved, and his adventures in casting. I was very impressed with the screen presence of Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.), who coincidentally was similar enough in appearance that he could have been a child Sheldon. Ninety-five percent of the story takes place in the span of one 'training day', where Woody accompanies his Uncle Vincent (Common) as he conducts a day of business. The first thing that struck me as odd was the upscale automobile that Vincent was driving, and I immediately took some leaps and bounds to conclusions, oh and I jumped too. My assumptions turned out to be correct as the day progresses it evident that the lessons that are imparted onto young Woody will inevitably lead to a loss of innocence. The story was relatable because although the setting is Baltimore which I have never visited, the harsh reality of a relative passing down their knowledge is not always a legitimate vocation or trade. I was not surprised at how quickly Woody caught on to what was happening with Vincent's encounters, in some cases his realization was slightly out of sync with mine. My hoping that no harm would come to young Woody kept the level of intensity in this film high, because I knew how easily situation after situation could have gone wrong. I was completely emotionally invested in this film from the moment that Woody and Vincent began their day together. As more and more of Vincent's past became apparent so did the fact that Woody should be nowhere in the vicinity of this guy. There could have been a bit more character development for the roles played by Charles Dutton (Cofield), Danny Glover(Arthur), and Dennis Haysbert(Fish) and the ladies in the film Lonette McGee (Grandma Beanie)and Meagan Goode were little more than just fleeting images, but this was a good film none the less. I am in love with LUV and give it a green light.