Blow the Man Down – A Coen-Esque Dramedy

Blow the Man Down. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Blow the Man Down, hitting Amazon Prime Video this weekend, is a Coen-esque dramedy from filmmakers Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy.

While the film starts out with a group of recurring singers, we learn that Mary Margaret Connolly has recently died.  Her two daughters, Mary Beth (Morgan Saylor) & Priscilla Connolly (Sophie Lowe), are grieving her passing.  Neither one knows what the future may hold.  Their mom didn’t leave them with much unless you count her bills and loans.  Like most siblings, the two find themselves at odds. Priscilla steps up to run the family fish shop.  Mary Beth would rather leave town.

When brothel owner Enid Nora Devlin (Margo Martindale) discovers both cash and one of her girls–Dee–missing, she sends in Gorski (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) to do the job.  Gorski has a run-in with Mary Beth, which results in a crime that gets covered-up immediately.  Not only did the sisters lose their mother but now they must figure out how to get away with the crime.

Here’s a town that had its way of doing business.  Mary Margaret Connolly was one of the matriarchs before she died.  Also serving as town elders are Doreen Burke (Marceline Hugot), Gail Maguire (Annette O’Toole), and Susie Gallagher (June Squibb).  The town elders are the ones that decide what everyone’s fate is–for better or worse.  To put it in simple terms, you never want to be the ones to cross their paths.

Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy manage to deliver a solid coming-of-age story with a nice mix of genre benders.  On the one hand, we get a noir that reminds us so much of the great Coen Brothers’ films.  Put it in a small town along the coast and surprisingly, there’s somewhat of a Western feel to it even if it’s in the northeast!

Anytime you get to see veteran performers like June Squibb and Margo Martindale is a pleasant delight.  The two manage to own their screen time, which comes as no surprise.  In the third act, Martindale delivers the powerhouse performance that we typically expect from her.  Both Morgan Saylor and Sophie Lowe hold their own against the veteran performers.  It isn’t only holding their own but the two manage to performances with the chemistry required of siblings.

Blow the Man Down is a solid original film in a world that is more-than-frequently filled with remakes, reboots, and sequels.

DIRECTORS/SCREENWRITERS:  Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy
CAST:  Morgan Saylor, Sophie Lowe, with June Squibb and Margo Martindale

Amazon Studios releases Blow the Man Down on Prime Video on March 20, 2020. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.