Mistaken Identities

Something rubbed off on director Ron Morales when he worked as a key grip on Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and Tony Gilroy’s Michael Clayton. The two Oscar-winning films have come to be loved for their labyrinthine layers of suspense. Now, with Graceland, Morales has produced a comparable work that blew away audiences on the festival circuit last year. If you like your exploration of the criminal underworld with disturbing twists and turns, Graceland serves them in heaps. When Marlon, the chauffeur of a crooked politician, gets ambushed by kidnappers while taking his and his boss’ daughter home from school, an ironic series of events ends with the abduction of the wrong girl. Marlon must deal with the kidnappers while keeping his boss in the dark that his daughter is not the one being ransomed. Meanwhile, detectives hound Marlon in their quest for a prompt arrest. Then things get out of control. Morales produced the work in his native Philippines with funding from friends, family, and a Kickstarter campaign. Its U.S. distributor, Drafthouse Films, has since announced plans to take him all the way back to the Oscars.
May 2-5, 7 p.m., 2013
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Hans Morgenstern has contributed to Miami New Times for too many decades, but he's grown to love Miami's arts and culture scene because of it. He is the chair of the Florida Film Critics Circle, and most of his film criticism can be found on Independent Ethos (indieethos.com) if not in New Times.