Film Review: ‘At Middleton’ Never Reaches Its Star Power Potential

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Since the world has been clamoring for a film about high school seniors touring a liberal arts college, “At Middleton” fills the bill, and throws in a symbolic midlife liaison between characters portrayed by Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga, tripping across their own “life campus.” Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The set-up of the story is better than the result of that set up. Andy Garcia plays against his hunky type as a repressed physician who is desperate to have his son go to Middleton College. Vera Farmiga’s character is more flaky, the motivator to get herself and the good doctor off the beaten path. When they get together, they change each other in odd ways, that doesn’t allow for a natural relationship to develop. It’s as if writer/director Adam Rodgers walked around the college, and made up stuff for his characters to do based on how the campus is laid out, and filmed it. There is high concept in the result, and low truth.

Andy Garcia is George, a stuffy physician who is taking his son Conrad (Spencer Lofranco) to a tour at Middleton College. In the group is Edith (Vera Farmiga) and her daughter Audrey (Taissa Farmiga). Audrey is at Middleton to study literature with Dr. Emerson (Tom Skerrit). The tour group gets off track, and Edith convinces George to do their own excursion through campus.

The couple steals some bikes, climbs the bell tower (George is afraid of heights) and drops in on an acting class. As the afternoon wears on, George is loosening up, and Edith is confronting some truths about her marriage. While the day culminates for them with some pot smoking and fountain splashing, Conrad is learning a little wisdom from Boneyard Sims (Peter Riegert), the campus disk jockey. It’s a big day on campus.

“At Middleton” has a limited release on January 31st, including Chicago. Check local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga, Taissa Farmiga, Spencer Lofranco, Tom Skerritt and Peter Riegert. Written by Glenn German and Adam Rodgers. Directed by Adam Rodgers. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”At Middleton”

Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga
George (Andy Garcia) and Edith (Vera Farmiga) Meet in ‘At Middleton’
Photo credit: Anchor Bay Films

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of ”At Middleton”

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