Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Max MacKenzie’

Just Say Goodbye *****

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 19th January, 2018

Just Say GoodbyeJesse is a skinny but artistic 16-year-old living in a suburb of a small town in Massachusetts, bullied at high school and largely ignored by his handsome but sometimes violent alcoholic father. As a small boy, he found his mother’s body, dead in bed from taking an overdose of pills. No wonder the kid is introspective. But Jesse has a devoted school-friend, Sarah, to whom he confesses his determination to commit suicide himself, at midnight on his next birthday. All her efforts to dissuade him are in vain. This might sound like the makings of a really heavy movie, but in fact Just Say Goodbye, directed by the young Matt Walting, is an often lyrical piece of great sensitivity and profound psychological insight. Though shot on a minuscule budget, raised from a range of donors, the film is anything but amateurish, fortified by a powerful script by Layla O’Shea and an extraordinarily self-assured performance by Max MacKenzie as Jesse; his voice is mesmerising and his steely determination to put an end to his largely unsatisfactory life gripping. Given the subject, the film could so easily have been maudlin, whereas in fact it is just the opposite: unsentimental and dignified, with an unusually perceptive insight into a troubled adolescent’s mind.

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