Blogger: Greg Spencer, Front of House
Putty Hill is based around the friends and family of a teenager who committed suicide, and how they deal with the incident. Its framing differs somewhat from mainstream narrative conventions, and the apparently improvised interviews with each of the characters leave you feeling uncertain as to which parts of the film are truth, and which are fiction. You could watch the film a thousand times and still not know.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing as you don't quite know where you stand with the characters and the events taking place. How emotionally appealing can a film be when you don't know what to believe?
Having said that, if the film is fictitious, then the actors did a great job. Also to be admired is how director Matthew Porterfield shoots the environment in which the characters live, and the way Baltimore looks on-screen - at one time a desolate wasteland, and others, quite beautiful.