Beauty Mark, which recently won a Special Jury Prize for actress Auden Thornton’s breakout performance at the 2017 LA Film Festival, plays tonight as the closing night film at the 2017 Flyover Film Festival in Louisville, Ky.
Auden Thornton stars as Angie. She’s struggling with her convenience store job while having to take care of her three-year-old son and deal with an alcoholic mother. As if this isn’t enough, Angie is forced to move upon learning that her house is being condemned. Making everything worse is that she is living in poverty. As such, Angie turns to the one man who abused her, when she was a young child, for help.
Director Harris Doran is able to capture the drama through rich performances in his feature debut. The subject of abuse is one that isn’t easy to deal with. This is whether it is on screen or just discussing it in general. In fact, so many people feel forced to go silent about abuse when it happens. They don’t tell anyone and when they do, it’s too late. This is because the government’s statute of limitations has expired and that’s wrong. The film is inspired by co-producer Katelyn Kate Adams’ personal life. It goes without saying but if anything, it should get people talking about abuse as soon as it happens.
Executive producer Gill Holland and co-producer Katelyn Kate Adams were instrumental in setting the film in Louisville. In doing so, they helped to revitalize the Portland neighborhood. For those of us who are Louisville ex-pats, you will experience homesickness seeing the skyline on screen.
May 26, 2018 EDIT: While the film got a digital release in May 2018, Beauty Mark was ahead of the Me, Too curve when the film held its world premiere last June in LA. Perhaps one of the biggest shames is that the film got a Digital/VOD release instead of a theatrical release. Auden Thornton delivers a wonderfully acted performance that is so good. It’s just that it’s a damn shame that the current rules for Awards Season rule out all of those smaller indie films that don’t get a theatrical release because Thornton’s name ought to be on everyone’s shortlist.
Abuse is no laughing matter. If Beauty Mark is able to do anything at all for viewers, it should be that the film gets people to start talking and have that conversation.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Harris Doran
CAST: Auden Thornton, Catherine Curtin, Laura Bell Bundy, Jeff Kober, Madison Iseman, and Deirdre Lovejoy.
Following the world premiere during the 2017 LA Film Festival and a subsequent tour on the festival circuit, The Orchard released Beauty Mark on Digital and VOD on May 22, 2018. For more, please read my interviews with Harris Doran and Auden Thornton.