Screenwriter: George Gallo
Starring: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Trevor Morgan, Ray Liotta
Running time: 99 mins
Based upon the experiences of writer/director George Gallo, Local Colour is the story of the relationship between a retired artist and his would-be protege. Armin Mueller-Stahl stars as Nicoli Seroff, a disenchanted Russian artist who has given up on his art until persistent young hopeful John (Trevor Morgan) turns up on his doorstep demanding tutilage. Although initially frustrated by his new friend, his presence soon rekindles the artist's interest in his field and he goes on to teach the student lessons about both art and life.
Local Colour is a film both about art and about the pursuit of dreams. Those interested in art will no doubt enjoy the exploration of the place that representational art has in the midst of more prevalent modern art - Seroff has a couple of rants against the latter to hilarious effect.
However, whilst those with a grounding in the area may find specific interest in the film, at its heart Local Colour is a feel-good movie about the protagonist's coming-of-age, search for approval and his goals in which everyone can find something with which to relate. The phrase of the title, John explains in the film, refers to the colour of an object before light, shadows or reflections have had a chance to affect it.
The film is bookended by narration from John which summarises the message of the film with a fair degree of melodrama and cliche which may grate with some, but Gallo has done this unashamedly in a film which is clearly a deeply personal affair. Himself an artist, the director clearly has as much an eye for natural beauty as the character, resulting in some breathtaking cinamatography.
Sporting truly wonderful performances, particularly from Mueller-Stahl, Local Colour is an enjoyable and moving experience.