“Try not to run away from stuff that isn’t there.”
Hudson, the first feature film from Sean Daniel Cunningham, received a fair number of awards from film festivals. It is certainly the kind of film that festival audiences like to find—a sweet, feel good story from a new filmmaker. One of the pleasures of going to festivals is finding such nice films that most people will not get a chance to see. But Hudson is now available on Amazon. Apple TV, and VOD. That gives more people a chance to see the kinds of things that festivals provide.
Ryan (Gregory Lay, who also co-wrote with Cunningham) leaves New York City to go upstate a bit, ostensibly because of a film he’s going to be in. So he stops in to visit his cousin Hudson (David Neal Levin), whose mother recently died. Hudson is reclusive and morose. He shows Ryan a room that hasn’t been cleaned up and says, “What’s the point?” That is what his life has become.
But since Ryan can drive, Hudson asks him to take him to a special tree from their childhood to scatter his mother’s ashes. And the odd couple road trip begins. Before long, they have added a flaky, but very kind-hearted hitchhiker name Sunrise (Mary Catherine Greenawalt), who knows exactly where they want to go. A series of small adventures unfold, allowing the characters to discover their common connections. Eventually, when they are lost in the woods, they share their failures, which allows them to look ahead to what new life they can find.
This film combines road trip and odd couple (or in this case, trio) genres to offer viewers a window into lives that are beginning to find healing from their brokenness. But that healing only begins when they open themselves to their brokenness. They also find the hope of healing in this small community that they have become.