If you told me that a movie about a man struggling to sell the last three trees out of his lot on Christmas Eve would be one of the best films that I saw at a festival, well, I probably would have laughed. And then probably asked you to show me this magical movie.
I’m so glad that I watched the story of Bernie Davis, a Christmas tree salesman fueling his night with hard sell tactics and no small amount of Jack Daniels served into a coffee cup.
John R. Smith Jnr, who plays Bernie, is beyond fantastic, feeling like he’s lived these cold nights waiting for customers to rid him of the trees that he’s tended to for an entire year. He’s all carnie on the outside and frazzled neurotic on the inside, a man trapped by life to live in a trailer and keep selling these trees every year for some dark reason that we can never, ever know.
Kyle Kutcha also made Survival of the Film Freaks and Fantasm, a movie about the importance of horror conventions. He’s made something great here, a film that focuses its lens nearly throughout on Bernie and finds sad, hilarious, frightening and finally resigned moments in his very strange life.
You can get a back half half price badge to watch all of the awesome movies at the Chattanooga Film Festival and see them until 6/29! Get yours right here!