Chilly character drama Cardinals revolves around a trauma that ends in death and a prison sentencing. And while it appears justice has been served, interest flares up when suspicions drudge up the past.
At its best, Cardinals is an acting showcase displaying the talents and commitments of Sheila McCarthy, Katie Boland, Grace Glowicki, and Noah Reid. Much of the film involves these performers (and their supporting cast) carrying out conversations that have an underlaying dialogue describing how they really feel towards each other or towards the grim incident in question. Graduating from making short films, directors Grayson Moore and Aidan Shipley have made it clear with their debut that they’re aware of how effective silent stares can be. While that’s true, that storytelling technique isn’t quite well honed in Cardinals. In fact, Moore and Shipley sedate their actors so much, that Cardinals – a modest film hoping to hang on to moral and humanistic truth – becomes unbelievable.
Moore and Shipley could have better luck adapting this story for the stage, but Cardinals doesn’t work as a movie under their mediative direction.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie