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Old 06-30-2007, 12:46 PM   #121
tobynosker
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Diggers
Directed by Katherine Dieckmann
Written by Ken Marino
Starring Lauren Ambrose, Ron Eldard, Josh Hamilton, Ken Marino, Sarah Paulson, Paul Rudd and Maura Tierney


Critically-acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh was nominated for Best Director at this past year's Independent Spirit Awards for his high-definition flick Bubble. The low-budget picture featuring amateur and unknown actors was released simultaneously in movie theaters and on the cable/satellite television network HDNet Movies, with a DVD release just days later. Many theaters perceived this tactic to be a threat, and banned Bubble from being shown on the big screen. But that hasn't stopped the release of this year's low-budget film Diggers from following the same path of being released to theaters, on cable and on DVD within days of each other.

In 1976 Long Island, a group of four young working-class friends have each decided to follow in the footsteps of their fathers by becoming independent clam diggers. But as the foursome begin to move forward through their adult lives, they each begin to face a ton of hardships, largely brought on by a big fishing corporation that has recently moved into the area and has started to hurt the profits of the local residents. But a number of other personal problems have allowed the gang of guys to start considering altering their course of life.

Clam digger and photographer Hunt (Paul Rudd) just lost his father, and has uncharacteristically sparked a summertime romance with a young Manhattan woman named Zoe (Lauren Ambrose). As Hunt begins to question his life, he is quickly pulled back to reality with the news that his divorced sister Gina (Maura Tierney) has recently started a fling of her own with his friend Jack (Ron Eldard). Hunt's best friend Lozo's (Ken Marino) marital problems with wife Julie (Sarah Paulson) increase with the announcement of her unexpected pregnancy, and his buddy Cons (Josh Hamilton) seems much more concerned with waxing philosophy in a stoned-state than he does tackling life's challenges.

A simple and intimate buddy film, Diggers is a low-key independent production that has a lot to like, but unfortunately, it is all executed in such a poor manner. While it is refreshing to watch a low-budget picture that doesn't need the over-the-top zaniness and off-the-wall, eccentric characters that are usually a staple in these type of coming-of-age stories, Diggers is a rather mundane movie where a lot seems poised to happen, but nothing ever does.

Written by Marino and helmed by music video director Katherine Dieckmann, Diggers never takes itself too seriously and merely invests all of its drama in real-life scenarios that mirror any young adults life. But while you are invested in the characters and their problems, none of them are ever fully developed, and the film sort of bumbles through each scene and potential conflict without no clear direction and without need for any conclusions.

The actors all do a decent job, with strong supporting work on display from Marino (Reno 911!: Miami, Hoodwinked) and Tierney (Welcome to Mooseport, TV's ER). Both manage to steal each scene they are in, giving believable performances, even when the writing and direction makes it hard to comprehend why they say or act in the manner in which they do. The rest of the movie's ensemble keeps ahold of your attention, as well, but they feel about as minor as their character structure.

A likeable movie with an extremely thin script, Diggers is an understated picture that unfortunately fails to provide its great cast or its audience with anything of significance.


*/****


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