Movie Recommendation: Unconformity
Dir. Jonathan DiMaio, 2022
I don't watch movies with the mindset of providing a critical review or seeking movies to write about. Rather these recommendation posts reflect moments I finished watching a movie and felt driven to tell the world about it!
I only recommend movies I'm excited about and eager for you to see.
Unconformity is what I mean when I say there’s a difference between a Hollywood movie and an American movie.1 Set in Nevada, the story follows a geology student named Alex who takes off to a secluded stretch of high desert to pursue a research project and spend some time bouldering. She strikes up a friendship with Nick, son of a local rancher that is slowly going out of business while trying to stave off fines from the Bureau of Land Management.
A bouldering route is called a problem, and those routes are only some of the problems Alex and Nick find themselves navigating as they confront their different values, as Nick frets for the future of his family ranch, and as his father becomes concerned with how much time Nick’s spending with Alex.
Unconformity is rich in American landscape and character. Most importantly, as someone from the Southwest, it’s incredibly meaningful to see a story told there, by a native, who understands the people and their differences with respect and empathy. This is not a Western and this is not Breaking Bad, this is a look into struggles… and opportunities… people are having out there.
Disclosure: I know the writer / director Jonathan DiMaio personally and even had the opportunity to see some of this script and post-production come together. Supporting my friends’ and colleagues’ work is not against the idea of these movie recommendations, but rather central to their point.
That said, I don’t have to recommend a friend’s movie if it’s not good, and Unconformity is very good.
I’m posting this today because Unconformity has been released on Amazon Prime.
Previous Movie Recommendations:
Most common distinction is to call the latter ‘an independent’ or ‘American independent’ film, but I prefer making clear that Hollywood makes corporate, not national, cinema.