“When Time Got Louder”
Rotten Tomatoes (4/5), Letterboxd (4/5), Imdb.com (8/10), TMDB.com (4/5)
Finding a harmonious balance between caring for the needs of others and addressing one’s own happiness and well-being can be a difficult tightrope to traverse. So it is for those who attend to the needs of those with high-maintenance caregiving requirements, such as those afflicted with autism. For one family caring for a teenage autistic son (Jonathan Simao) – a high-functioning, extremely gifted but largely nonverbal illustrator – it takes a lot. It also takes a lot away from their own lives, often prompting profound feelings of guilt when they pursue initiatives of their own. That’s especially true when the artistic savant’s older sister (Willow Shields) goes away to college and begins pursuing a same-sex relationship with a new love interest (Ava Capri), actions that make her feel as though she’s selfishly abandoned her brother’s needs. So how do she and her parents (Elizabeth Mitchell, Lochlyn Munro) cope with these circumstances? That’s what writer-director Connie Cocchia’s debut feature beautifully and sensitively examines, presenting viewers with a compelling, heartfelt story in which loving but hard choices must be made to take care of everyone’s needs under stressful conditions. Beautifully filmed, skillfully edited through a carefully assembled series of flashbacks and backed by a deftly compiled soundtrack, this tale is effectively brought to life by its superb ensemble cast, including all of the family members and a caring but no-nonsense social worker (Sharon Taylor). The film evokes genuine emotions and does so with an organic authenticity, never becoming schmaltzy or clichéd, quite a coup for a first-time feature filmmaker. “When Time Got Louder” is one of those little-known gems that has largely flown beneath the radar, primarily playing the film festival circuit, but, thankfully, it’s now available for streaming – and a well-worthwhile viewing choice at that.