Summer of ’72 (2019) Movie Review

Director: Philip Harder

Writer: Philip Harder (Screenplay) Glasgow Phillips (Novel)

Starring: Natalia Dyer, Devon Bostick, Tate Donovan, Ella Rae Peck, Nathan Phillips, Bruce Bohne

Plot: Twenty-two and on the verge of entering high society, college graduate Billy Mitchell finds his plans changing when he falls in love with an inmate with multiple personalities at his father’s mental institution.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Summer of ’72 starts as young man Billy Mitchell (Bostick) has finished his education looking to start entering the next stage of his life until he meets the beautiful Virginia (Dyer) a patient at his father (Donovan) mental institution, being warned about how dangerous she could be to him.

As the two find themselves in a relationship, they start finding themselves in the middle of a race war in the area, leaving Billy in the position of needing to decide which side of the war he wants to be involved in.

Thoughts on Summer of ‘72

Characters & Performances – Billy is a young man that has been preparing for the next stage of his life, he doesn’t know what he wants from his life in a world living in the aftermath of war, looking to do the right thing for a local mental institute patient, he falls in love, leaving himself witnessing the horrors of the race war that he friends and father are opposite sides of. Devon Bostick does try to give us a much more mature performance than we have seen before, but the character doesn’t seem like it is fully flushed out enough. Virginia is the mental institute patient that has been looking for a way to escape, she befriends Billy, which will give her a chance to escape as the couple fall in love, we are told she is a dangerous woman, but we never see enough of what she might be capable off. Natalia Dyer does do a great job here, being the strongest part of the performances in the film, even if we wanted to see even more from her. We do get to meet Billy’s father who is also the doctor of Virginia and Nigel who has been fighting the race war against the white supremacist in the area. The performances are all fine, only we just don’t get enough from the characters.

StoryThe story here follows a young man and a young woman that look to escape their lives and get through a race war that has held down their family and friends in the year 1972. This is a story that doesn’t give us enough in depth look at the relationship, with everything looking and feeling out of place, never seeming real, the race war does seem like it takes the back burner to everything, even though it is meant to be a more serious side to everything. We could have seen a lot more happening, with an ending that just feels empty.

ThemesSummer of ’72 is a drama that will look to bring about important cultural events of the time in the background involved the friends and family of the couple, with a lot of the scenery being focused on the open area.

Final Thoughts Summer of ’72 is a slow moving drama that has a romantic side even though it is trying to put a spotlight on a bigger culture event going on.

Signature Entertainment presents Summer of ‘72 on Digital Platforms 1st February

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