City of Dreamers is nominated for Best Feature Film at the Madrid International Film Festival, and is scheduled at SENE Film Music & Arts Festival, Vegas Indie Film Fest and the World Music and Independent Film Festival.
Your whole life lies before you. Possibilities seem infinite. There are new places to go, new people to meet. City of Dreamers brings that moment alive.
Doubt and heartache don’t eclipse this sweet film. The players are troubadours recalling their lives and loves. The exciting soundtrack includes songs by Ellen and the Echo, The Black Fields and Tom Staniford.
Cosgrove’s great performance
City of Dreamers is about the possible. Rose (Ellen Cosgrove, Ellen and the Echo’s lead singer in her impressive film debut) is just arriving in Brighton. She doesn’t know a soul.
Clutching her guitar and the address of a rooming house, Rose meets odd and barely dressed Kyle (George Webster, zany yet moving). Cosgrove keeps it real and direct. Her graceful and nuanced performance makes you care.
Lose yourself to find yourself
Rose leaves everything she knows for a fresh start. All she needs is her guitar and her songs. Still figuring out who she is, she meets other dreamers and singers.
Joe (Eddy Brimson, warm and memorable) is homeless after losing his wife and daughter. Harry (Ross Scarfield) works as a bartender at a local pub. Nicole (Amanda Piery) asks Rose for help with a budding romance. Carlos (Diego Alcacer), a world traveler at the launderette, quips: “Exciting, isn’t it? Life.”
By the end of City of Dreamers, romances bloom. The search for love is bound to our inner lives. “The only person we truly love is ourselves,” Rose tells Carlos.
Achieve all you believe
Produced by Brighton’s up-and-coming Jump Start Productions, City of Dreamers dares to be positive.
“We wanted to incorporate the essence of Brighton,” producer and director of photography Nathalie Holman told The Argus. “Brighton is well known for its arts, culture and music scene, but not when you look at the films about it.”
This story could unfold in many world cities. Human connection and synergy build a new economy.
Playing to a restless audience during an open mic, Rose is discouraged. Later she plays for Joe, and at a small party.
Rose sets out to give her first sidewalk performance. Her voice soars with a freedom that inspires passersby. Soon she earns 60 quid.
Everyday fairy tales
At times the film’s low budget shows in its editing and lighting. Yet this is independent film at its best, directed with originality, depth and insight. City of Dreamers pays homage to idealists and oddballs alike. It affirms our common humanity.
In an iconic scene, Rose and Joe attend a fancy dress party. Dressed like a princess, Rose is surrounded by a plume of golden balloons.
In another scene, Rose and Harry gaze at a sidewalk fire dancer. It’s the kind of moment found in bustling cities, places warm with culture and art.
A miracle moment
Brimson’s profound performance cinches a miracle moment. Joe, who has been homeless for years, is offered a bartending job by Harry. Beaming, he begins to serve customers. He no longer needs street donations.
Miracles are just this sudden and unremarkable. We seem to be separate. Suddenly, we are one. (4 out of 5 stars)
City of Dreamers / 2011 / NR / 2 hours
Cast Overview: Ellen Cosgrove, Ross Scarfield, Eddy Brimson, Diego Alcacer, George Webster, Amanda Piery, Rebecca Oakley, Daniel Wheeler, Ray James, Jamie Patterson, Christian Hearn, Aslan Steel, Emma Styf, Ben Thomson, Dan Miles, Norman Cook.
Director: Jamie Patterson
Genres: Drama, Music, Romantic Drama