Audience Award: Best of NEXT Sundance Film Fest
Grand Jury Prize: Narrative Feature Boston Independent Film Fest
"Saintliness and cinema are an odd couple, enough so that auds will be caught off-guard by This Is Martin Bonner, a mood piece, a character study and an exercise in poetic gesture possessed of a sort of evanescent, secular spirituality." -Variety
"This Is Martin Bonner is carried out with such understated precision that small details have profound resonances" -Onion AV Club
"Contemplative...absorbing" -Hollywood Reporter
"As the spare, sharp dialogue and tensely searching performances elicit lives filled with pain and loss, [filmmaker Chad] Hartigan's images ... capture a serene spiritual bounty that shines through the daily grit and grind" -New Yorker
"It is uncommon for a young filmmaker to work so far outside of his age bracket and milieu; it is even more uncommon for one to articulate the anxieties and hardships of middle-age with such sensitivity, sophistication, and perceptiveness" -Village Voice
Recommended! "Martin Bonner's near-static form and overpowering reserve...provides sparks and slivers of behavior and character that accumulate simple grace" -NewCity Chicago
Recommended! "Touching, uncommonly humane... both [Richmond] Arquette and [Paul] Eenhoorn are exceptional" -Chicago Reader
"Both [actors] are stellar... They are memorable characters not because of what they do but because of how completely we believe who they are" -HollywoodChicago.com
½ -Chicago Tribune
In this reflective and absorbing drama, a divorced middle-aged Australian expat (Paul Eenhorn), adrift in his adopted country, moves to Reno where he works for an organization that eases newly released prisoners back into society. It is his first job in two years and through this work he meets just-released felon Travis (Richmond Arquette), who is struggling to adjust to the world after 12 years in prison.
Quiet and contemplative, This is Martin Bonner explores the hesitant starts and stops that come with friendship in adulthood, while trying to make a tentative connection that slowly grows more trusting, even as they both try to figure out the expectations for this unusual relationship. As the two men learn more about each other, we confront our own biases and reconsider the assumptions we make about those in circumstances different than our own, in this unlikely friendship that offers them reciprocal support and mutual understanding.