Updated: Jun 6
While theaters once again lure big screen viewers with large scale action films, streaming services continue to offer small surprises like Sold Out. Amazon provides the venue for this calling card of a movie, a project demonstrating that its little known talent deserve bigger opportunities. The script comes from Susan Brightbill, whose acting experience in a couple of big projects like Message in a Bottlegives her a good sense of production needs. She structures an appealing story about a family man whose suppressed dreams of musical stardom get a jump when a talent scout takes him on the road. Like the indie-hit Once, Sold Out requires effective music since the names involved offer no star-power. Songs come from a variety of composers including lead actor Sam Bardwell, who handles singing and guitar playing with appropriate skill. Comfortable in front of a camera, he makes a likeable hero, working well with costar Kelsey McMahon. First-time director Tim Dahlseid handles the basics, adding distinction by filming on location, using small towns and bad weather to heighten atmosphere. Dahlseid’s major obstacle comes from a minimal budget that limits access to top level equipment. Volume gets erratic with dialogue, though stabilizes where it counts most for a project about a musician: during songs. A difficult sell for theaters showing projects with state of the art everything, Sold Out finds a good home in living rooms where filling seats happens quickly and easily.