By Andrea K. Hammer
The Short History of The Long Road, a film by Ani Simon-Kennedy, is a visually expansive yet realistic look at a life of transience. With an intriguing title and striking artwork on the DVD cover, the image of road dividers superimposed through the main character’s heart captures the essence of this drama set against the backdrop of stunning skylines.
Magnetic Central Character With Quiet Strength
As the teenage Nola traveling the open road with her self-reliant father (Steven Ogg), Sabrina Carpenter is magnetic as the central force in the film. In every scene, the young actress has a quiet strength–never overplaying moments when even the toughest could easily hit the drama button. From expressing frustration about never seeing the end of a film with her father–an overarching symbol–to meeting the mother who abandoned her as a child, Sabrina Carpenter registers Nola’s reactions to a series of harsh realities with open-eyed truthfulness.
Other Characters Add Depth and Dimension to Drama
Sabrina Carpenter’s interaction with the other characters in The Short History of The Long Road add depth and dimension to this drama about her growing independence. As her father Clint, Steven Ogg captures the free-to-be-me spirit of a man who refuses to live a traditional life. Danny Trejo plays the auto body shop owner with simultaneous grit and humanity. The scenes with Nola’s mother (Maggie Siff) seem unrealistic and hasty in terms of speedy discovery and lack of resentment after years of desertion.
Drama Explores and Dispels Romantic Notions About Life on the Open Road
In this remarkable story of a young woman’s ability to survive on her own, The Short History of The Long Road reminds us of our capacity for resilience while exploring and dispelling romantic notions of life on the open road.