'Backwards': Rower's journey takes a turn after Olympic hopes
A movie review of "Backwards," about a rower who fails to make the Olympics and has to find a new life for herself at age 30.
San Francisco Chronicle
'Backwards,' with Sarah Megan Thomas, James Van Der Beek, Margaret Colin. Directed by Ben Hickernell, from a screenplay by Thomas. 89 minutes. Rated PG for some mild language. Oak Tree.
Sarah Megan Thomas wrote and stars in "Backwards," about a rower who fails to make the Olympics and has to find a new life for herself at age 30.
The movie has two things going for it: It provides insight into a world within a world, in this case the life of athletes who almost make it; and it builds up an intense interest in seeing its protagonist succeed and achieve her dream, after all.
The movie is slow and has the atmosphere of an afternoon TV movie, but where "Backwards" ultimately falls down is over the matter of story. It's as if the writer had a preconceived idea as to where she wanted to push the character, irrespective of audience desire or expectation or the character's own proclivities. A movie whose main virtue was its honesty ultimately lands in a place that feels canned and unsatisfying.
But on the way there, "Backwards" isn't so bad.