Director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte tells a sort-of reverse Bonnie and Clyde story with Dreamland, a great-looking, well-acted and ultimately decent watch featuring the great Margot Robbie.
If you haven’t been paying attention, you should know that Robbie has evolved into one of the finest actresses in the biz, and she’s spectacularly good here as Allison Wells, a bank robber on the run after an unfortunate turn of events. She winds up in the barn belonging to the family of Eugene (a very good Finn Cole), farmers who have fallen on rough times due to drought and dust storms. Eugene stumbles upon a wounded Allison—and their bond begins. What develops is a bit slow-going and predictable, but the two make the journey worthwhile.
Hats off to Peyrafitte and cinematographer Lyle Vincent for putting together one of the year’s best-looking films. Period pieces (this one set is during the Great Depression) obviously rely heavily upon how they look and feel—and this one looks and feels like an authentic, dusted-over Texas. It’s a shame indoor theaters aren’t open locally, because I imagine the dust-storm sequence plays great on a big screen.
The film feels a bit like it is missing a chapter. It takes a while for Allison and Eugene to hit the road—and the film ends shortly thereafter. The slow first three quarters of the film would’ve been more forgivable had the road portion been a bit meatier.
Still, Robbie and Cole are strong and memorable together, and Dreamland stands as one of the better performances in Robbie’s impressive career.
Dreamland is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.