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Surreal Noir Shines Bright in Dazzling Debut

The Blue Rose


Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Year Released: 2024
Runtime: 1h 43m
Director(s): George Baron
Writer(s): George Baron
Cast: Olivia Scott Welch, George Baron, Danielle Bisutti, Nikko Austen Smith, Glüme Harlow, Jordyn Denning, Evee Bui, Sophie Cooper, Logan Miller, Ray Wise, Manny Liotta, Brittany Ball
Where To Watch: in select theaters and on digital/VOD July 12, 2024

RAVING REVIEW: In what I can only describe as one of the best interactions I’ve ever had with a director, George Baron reached out to me while I was screening this film and mentioned I should check it out (as he didn’t know I was already watching it.) I took a photo of the screen as I was watching it, and their response was, “Oh bitch that’s cuntyyyyy,” and I can’t tell you the smile that put on my face!

Stepping into the directorial arena, Baron's THE BLUE ROSE mesmerizes with a lush visual experience that fuses surrealism and film noir elements, presenting a unique cinematic experience. From the first scene, where an ethereal figure enchants the audience with a blue rose bathed in blood-red water, we are drawn into a world where reality and fantasy are inseparably intertwined. This opening is a precursor for the rest of the film, setting the stage for a narrative that consistently blurs the lines between the tangible and the imagined with an artistic hand and unique vision.

Baron, influenced by David Lynch yet infusing his work with the spirit of cinema greats like Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock, crafts a storyline centered around two rookie detectives, Lilly and Dalton. Played by Olivia Scott Welch and Baron himself, these characters are thrust into a murder mystery that propels them into a nightmarish reality echoing the unsettling undertones of 1950s America. Here, the noir aesthetics mingle with modern themes, enriching the plot's depth and engaging a diverse audience.

The film's production design deserves applause for its meticulous attention to period detail blended with surrealistic motifs. The sets and costumes are more than mere backdrops; they actively become part of the story, the paint to a canvas, enhancing the narrative's emotional and thematic resonance. The symbolism of blue roses and triangles weaves a complex tapestry of oppression and identity, echoing historical and cultural significances that invite viewers to delve deeper into the film's rich subtext.

Casting choices in THE BLUE ROSE add a passionate and unique perspective of authenticity and intrigue the performances of Baron and Welch, whose on-screen chemistry anchors the film's convoluted narrative. Meanwhile, Viola Odette Harlow’s portrayal of the nightclub singer Catherine Christianson is a standout, infusing the film with a haunting charm that captivates the audience, much like the sirens of classical Hollywood cinema. Nikko Austen Smith’s portrayal of Sophie Steele creates a haunting atmosphere that pulls you into the unknown. The film, with many new names in the industry, combines to create an experience that feels familiar yet has a surprise around every corner.

At its core, THE BLUE ROSE challenges its audience to engage actively with its elaborate and symbol-laden narrative. This may be Baron's debut, but this film showcases his unique directorial style and boldly invites viewers to explore the surreal depths of cinematic storytelling. While the film’s complexity may not resonate with everyone, its ability to foster discussion and introspection is a testament to Baron’s budding talent.

Baron’s film transcends traditional entertainment, offering instead a gateway into a conversation about art, reality, and the shadows in between. As the story unfolds, viewers are encouraged to question and interpret the layers of meaning woven throughout the film, making THE BLUE ROSE a seminal work in surrealist noir.

THE BLUE ROSE is a visual and intellectual odyssey that marks George Baron's emergence as a filmmaker of note; I can’t wait to see what he does next! His ability to craft a visually arresting and thought-provoking narrative announces the arrival of a new, significant voice in cinema. As the credits roll, the film leaves a lasting impression, ensuring its place as a pivotal work in the evolution of the surrealist noir genre. This feels like one of those moments I’ll look back on years from now, and I can say, “I remember his first film and could see what the future holds!”

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[photo courtesy of DARK SKY FILMS]

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Chris Jones
Entertainment Editor

Chris Jones is the Mail Entertainment Editor covering Movies and Television topics. He is from Washington, Illinois, and is the owner, writer, and editor of Overly Honest Reviews.