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254 Ratings

I Used to Be Darker

Directed by Matthew Porterfield
United States, 2013


When Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, Maryland, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill have problems of their own: they are trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter Abby.

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I Used to Be Darker Directed by Matthew Porterfield
The father who has put his musical aspirations aside in favor of family life, versus the mother who refuses to give up, give in, or give out, form a kind of force field, calling on an unseen but palpable history which is personal, generational, and geographical — as uniquely American a story as Linklater’s “Before” films (which are all the more so by highlighting French sensibility).
August 09, 2014
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In I Used to Be Darker, Oldham and Taylor (both professional musicians offscreen) sing their own their songs; thus instead of teenagers searching for music that complements their feelings [as in Putty Hill], we have middle-aged musicians—not just the characters, but also the actors—dredging things up from the inside out.
May 09, 2014
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Porterfield’s continuing aversion to cinematic glossiness – natural light is favored, regardless of whether or not it provides flattering illumination, and shooting locations appear to have been kept the way they were when found – results in an intimate panorama of suburban banality, the textures of which feel at once specific to this Baltimore district and true to any middle-class neighborhood anywhere in the country in the past decade.
October 23, 2013
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