There's a certain kind of fantasy, appealing to teenagers, that involves imagining yourself in a situation harsh enough to justify the alienation and rage flooding your soul. The attraction is the perverse satisfaction of enduring nightmarish scenarios, no matter how high the deck is stacked against you. Coldwater has the feel of one of those fantasies, from its melodramatic mixture of grandiosity and powerlessness to its view of the world as a torture-chamber crucible for an angry young man who has to grow up too fast. So it comes as no surprise that writer-director Vincent Grashaw wrote the film's first draft soon after graduating high school.
The story opens with Brad (P.J. Boudousqué, who looks and acts distractingly like Ryan Gosling) being dragged out of bed and into the back of a van by a bunch of thugs from Coldwater, the private juvenile "rehabilitation" facility his frazzled mother has enlisted to straighten out the rebellious, drug-dealing teen. Read the rest on Slant Magazine