Discovery

The Butterfly Tree

Priscilla Cameron

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Priscilla Cameron's luminous feature debut follows a father (Ewen Leslie) and his son (Ed Oxenbould), who find their joie de vivre rekindled for the first time since the death of their matriarch by the arrival a mysterious yet enchanting florist named Evelyn (Melissa George).

Young Fin (The Visit's Ed Oxenbould) and his father Al (Ewen Leslie) are grieving the loss of Fin's mother three years before, albeit in very different and singular ways. When their small town gains a new florist — a mysterious, warm, and beautiful woman named Evelyn (the luminous Melissa George) — Al and Fin encounter her uniquely, each without the other's knowledge.

In short order, Evelyn electrifies them both. But when father and son discover they are, essentially, competing for Evelyn's attention, the emotionally charged events that transpire threaten to unravel their already-threadbare relationship.

For a film about grief, The Butterfly Tree is suffused with visual delight. The imagery, photography, and a gorgeous soundscape underscore Fin's hollowed-out heart and the abandonment that haunts Al every day.

Evelyn has her own reasons for immersing herself in the sensual pleasures of flowers, music, butterflies, and bubble baths; reasons that leave Fin and Al helpless against the immense force of her appetite for life.

Writer-director Priscilla Cameron has created an auspicious debut that bristles with love, joy, and an affirmation of hope.

JANE SCHOETTLE

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