And Then There Was Eve is one of the rare films that places the spotlight on a transgender actress in a leading role.
Much credit should to go to director Savannah Bloch, who co-wrote the screenplay with Colette Freedman, for being adamant that a trans woman was cast as Eve rather than following the Hollywood trend of casting cis males as trans woman.
Rachel Crowl shines in her role as jazz pianist Eve. It’s one of breakout performances in 2017 and an acting performance that this transgender film critic is very happy to see. Her performance is one that should give inspiration to transgender talent everywhere.
Rachel stars opposite Tania Nolan, who plays photographer Alyssa. Alyssa isn’t without her flaws as we watch her deal with her missing husband, Kevin. Kevin had struggled with depression for a long time and Alyssa wakes up to find her apartment has been trashed and that he’s missing. Struggling with what happened, it’s Eve to the rescue and that’s where things get interesting. There’s clear chemistry between the two.
There’s a reason why this film won the LA Muse Fiction Award at this summer’s LA Film Festival following the world premiere. It comes through in the direction by watching the mesmerizing performances, Johanna Coehlo’s cinematography, and in composer Robert Lydecker’s jazz score. The broken jazz only adds to complement a complicated relationship between Eve and Alyssa, especially as viewers get into Alyssa’s head.
And Then There Was Eve is a film that transcends genres because it is a psychological thriller in as much as its a romantic drama without all the cliches that come with that film genre. Bloch and Freedman’s use their script to explore gender identity, gender expression and sexuality. There are people who believe gender identity and sexuality are the same thing but they aren’t. One’s gender identity is how someone sees theirself. Sexuality is who one is attracted to. Credit must go to Bloch and Freedman for studying how the spouses of trans women were affected by a gender transition in their relationships. Some marriages survive while others don’t but that’s another article for another site.
While I’m one who strongly feels that it’s up to transgender filmmakers to tell our stories, I applaud the producers (Jen Prince, Jhennifer Webberley and Savannah Bloch) for seeing to it that a transgender woman was cast as Eve in order to help improve transgender representation in television or film. It results in a strong feature directorial debut from Bloch.
As the film currently awaits distribution, And Then There Was Eve will screen this weekend at the Carmel International Film Festival.