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Bubble (2005)

Cast: Debbie Doebereiner, Debbie Doebereiner, Dustin Ashley, more...
Director: Steven Soderbergh, Steven Soderbergh
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Independent, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 73 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: Spanish
    see additional details...

Steven Soderbergh followed up his slick, star-studded sequel, Ocean's Twelve, with Bubble, a small-town drama about workers in a doll factory, played by a cast of unknowns. Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) seems to have acclimated herself to a very simple life. She works at the factory, where she eats lunch with a younger co-worker, Kyle (Dustin Ashley), and goes home to take care of her elderly father. Her routine is disrupted when an attractive young woman, Rose (Misty Wilkins), is hired at the factory to help them with the holiday rush. Rose soon tells the others that she's eager to leave their town, where there is "nothing to do." She immediately attracts Kyle's attention. One night, Rose asks Martha to baby-sit for her two-year-old daughter while she goes out on a date. Martha is startled to learn that her date is with Kyle. When Rose returns home that night, she's greeted by her angry ex-boyfriend, Jake (K. Smith), who accuses her of stealing from him. Martha looks on while Rose and Jake have a heated confrontation. The next morning, one of the characters is found murdered, and a detective (played by Decker Moody) begins to investigate. Bubble was written by Coleman Hough, who also scripted Soderbergh's Full Frontal. It was shown at the 2005 New York Film Festival, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Pudovkin and De Sica would be proud by randomcha July 1, 2006 - 10:13 AM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
The kind of rare film that's short, yet filled to brimming with tiny moments of detail and subtext. There were more than a few scenes that reminded me of De Sica's masterpiece "Umberto D." While Soderbergh's film isn't quite on that level, it IS a small gem which contains more moments of truth and beauty than a hundred other recent studio films. You could call it a quasi-socialist crtique of American capitalism ... but that would be shallow.

Innovative, hypnotic American neorealism by SBarnett June 13, 2006 - 8:47 AM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I was born and grew up in southeastern Ohio and have many relatives in and near the towns where "Bubble" is set. I no longer live there--like Rose in the film, I dreamed of leaving, and did. When I sat down to watch "Bubble" I half expected to see a famous filmmaker put down the people and the area I know so well. I was totally and happily surprised with the brilliant, attentive way Soderbergh turned these people into actors--and they are actors, creating characters out of their own lives and the lives of people they know--and merged their stories with the story he wanted to tell. I never got the impression that he was making fun of the people or this area. Quite the contrary. There is nothing but sympathy for their daily struggle to make ends meet in the towns of middle America, in their economy that is paying the price not only for our IPods and Xboxes and Blackberrys, but also for 200 million dollars a day spent in Iraq, for tax cuts for the rich, for the attack on free public education and health care. That said, this film is not a documentary. That's what makes it so watchable. It's a romantic triangle and murder mystery with humor, suspense, character development, and excellent improvised dialog. The "bubble" is not the Ohio Valley or the lives of the people there, it's what Soderbergh and these actors create in this film--a bubble-like world with anti-echoes of "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive" in which everything happens in a kind of a cinematic dream, touching our subconscious in an almost hypnotic way.

Baby Dolls All by talltale February 21, 2006 - 11:09 AM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
One of Stephen Soderbergh's better efforts (for my money, at least), BUBBLE holds attention from first frame to last. Combining fictional and documentary filmmaking techniques pretty seamlessly, Soderbergh and his screenwriter Coleman Hough offer a sad, strange and disquieting look at the American heartland's work, love and leisure situation. Interestingly, work comes out head and shoulders above the other two. The director and screenwriter have also pulled fine performances from their untrained cast.

While trained actors might have been able to bring richer moments to the proceedings, the five or so major roles are filled nicely by these amateurs, with standout work from Doebereiner, Wilkins and Ashley--all of whom I hope we'll be able to see again. With this one, I believe Soderbergh has finally combined his signature insistence on the oddball with a subject and characters that merit our time and interest. This odd little 70-minute film may very well stick with you.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.51)
85 Votes
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