Night Has Settled 2014
1h 30min | Drama | 1 February 2014 (USA)
In 1983, Oliver Nicholas, at thirteen, is well-poised to enter the precocious teenage world of first-sex, vodka and possible-love in New York City when he is traumatized by the stroke of his housekeeper (and only true maternal figure), a sixty-five-year-old Chilean woman named Aida. What was supposed to be an exhilarating and somewhat fearful rite of passage – diving into the exciting, fast-paced world of first experiences – quickly becomes skewed by an incomprehensible depression, and a house of interior horrors. Surrounded by women – his untraditional, Spanish, photographer mother (more interested in the role of confidante than mother) his sister, a comedic, door-slamming tormentor, marked by her parent’s divorce; and Aida, his silver-haired emotional focal point on the verge of death in Lenox Hill Hospital – Oliver struggles to maintain his role as “man of the house” and his sanity. With his best friends, Valerio, a chain-smoking, nunchucking, grandiose artist; and Nick, a cynical, foul-mouthed, jokester, Oliver struggles through attacks of mania, drunkenness, first love, betrayal, migraine-inducing masturbation, virginity, and the loss of an imaginary friend . . . hoping to survive this uniquely-New-York baptism by fire.
I had no idea what to expect when I viewed this little gem but was most pleasantly surprised by its depth and insight. The film centres around Oliver; a 13 year old boy who is about to make the transition from boy to teenager when an unexpected tragedy strikes, turning his innocent world upside down. Spencer List carries a great lead role demonstrating sensitivity and though minimalistic in his expression; a vulnerability that accurately conveys the mixed emotions of his character. All this plus a magnetic screen presence that leaves you unable to take your eyes off him. Aida, played by the brilliant Adriana Barraza gives a great support role and the chemistry between the two actors feels so authentic that it creates a sense of empathy in the viewer.
Without giving too much away, this movie takes us through the giddy heights and lows of the transition into adolescence where everything is overly dramatic; love and betrayal; over-confidence and powerlessness; innocence and experience.
The main message however is about the love between a young boy and his nanny and how this love eventually wins out over trauma, shock and confusion eventually bringing a somewhat dysfunctional family closer together. I would definitely recommend a late night watch.
Director: Steve Clark
Writer: Steve Clark
Stars: Spencer List, Pilar López de Ayala, Adriana Barraza
Release Date: 1 February 2014 (USA)
Also Known As: A Noite Acalmou
Filming Locations: New York City, New York, USA