Wednesday, January 12, 2022


Written and directed by Fran Kranz, Mass offers an intimate setting to delve into two families' pain. Six years after a school shooting, the parents of two children involved agree to meet in the basement of a local church. On one side we have Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton as the parents of one of the victims and on the other Reed Birney and Ann Dowd as the parents of the shooter who also took his own life. Both couples are still wracked with pain and seeking answers to a brutal event that changed both families forever.

Mass is a film designed to put its four characters, and the audience, through the wringer as both sides work through their pain attempting to make sense of a senseless crime as the family of the victim and that of the perpetrator discover a shared pain.

In terms of plot, there's not much to Mass that sets the stage of the meeting and then simply allows the four characters to talk as the discussion ranges from accusatory to defensive but is always tinged on both sides with a profound grief that pours out each of them. Having four actors sit in a room and talk for nearly the entire length of a film isn't the most dynamic way to tell as story, but Kranz trusts his script and his actors to let the emotions of the situation carry the day. The result is an intense film which feels taken directly from national headlines whose attempt at answering the age old question of "why" takes us with them down a rabbit hole allowing all four actors to shine and the film and its characters to find some small amount of peace by the end of its journey.

Watch the trailer

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