Oftentimes I’ll be given the chance to screen the smallest of indie flicks with an opportunity to interview the filmmakers or stars. Usually, after seeing the movie, I want nothing to do with it ever again. Such was not the case with Take.
The first thing that drew me into Take was its cast: I’d loved Minnie Driver since Grosse Pointe Blank and Good Will Hunting and had recognized Jeremy Renner from Swat, North Country and 28 Weeks Later. It was when I saw Renner in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford that I grew to love him as an actor. With these two as the leads, I was looking forward to screening Take.
In Take, Driver plays a struggling working mother whose special-needs child is helping push her toward the verge of a major breakdown. Renner plays a junkie who is about to hit rock bottom. And though their paths don’t cross until the end of the film, you can feel the tension rising and rising toward its breaking point. When all is said and done, you’ve witnessed an emotional cataclysm you pray you never have to experience personally.
I was impressed — deeply impressed — by what these indie filmmakers had accomplished. With a small budget, they made an emotional film with a perfect balance of intriguing story, creative artistic vision and applicable moral.
Writer and director Charles Oliver, a BYU graduate, told the UVU Review, “I think there’s a great audience for Take in Utah — it has such a strong core and a valuable message. Forgiveness and redemption are common morals — not only in Utah. That’s why we made a movie that is not Utah specific. We all wanted to experience (these themes) in a mainstream way.”
But herein lies the moral dilemma that the Utah audience might face: Take has been rated R by the MPAA for “some violence with intense emotional impact.” Although Take premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, during its run in the film festival circuit, it played locally at the LDS Film Festival. Would the LDS Film Festival show an R-rated film? Not likely. So is the R-rating well deserved? Not at all.
“When the guys called me and told me that we received an R, I thought they were joking. I was totally shocked,” Oliver said. “We worked at great lengths to obtain a PG-13 rating. . In fact, in Canada, Take received a PG rating, and the UK rated the film appropriate for ages 12 and older.” And for Utah audiences only, the theatrical version of Take will be what they call a director’s edit, in which anything remotely offensive has been removed.
If you’re looking to see the product of truly solid filmmaking, then be sure to check out Take during its limited Utah release. Take can be seen in all Megaplex Theaters, at the Carmike Wynnsong and at the Redstone Cinemas in Park City.
When you see Take during its theatrical run, keep your ticket stub and it will count as a lifetime free pass to Festival Cinemas. Just another good reason to see Take!