The Hollywood Bubble

Steven Soderbergh’s independent film, Bubble, made headlines when it premiered in theaters January 27. But it wasn’t the film’s content that raised brows; it was Soderbergh’s three-pronged strategy to release the film on DVD and TV just days after it opened in theaters. Of course, such marketing stunts only concern studio heads who fear that if this trend catches on, they can say bye-bye to big bucks at the box office. What’s likely to stun viewers, however, is that Soderbergh – the big-shot filmmaker behind Ocean’s Eleven and Erin Brockovich – avoided the safety net of an all-star cast. There’s no George Clooney, no Julia Roberts – not a single actor you’ve heard of. And that’s exactly how it should be, given the film’s somber characters and quasi-documentary style.

Set in a working class town in West Virginia, Bubble revolves around Kyle and Martha, two stiffs working in a doll factory whose lives are as glum as their bank accounts. The action picks up when a single mother named Rose starts work at the factory. Noticing Kyle’s obvious interest in their attractive new coworker, Martha – considerably older (and heavier) than Rose – takes an immediate disliking to her. But the extent of Martha’s feelings, or those any other character, are hard to gauge because of film’s minimal dialogue. So when a murder is committed, it’s a guessing game to the very end. (Here’s a hint: It wasn’t Chucky.)

Bubble opens Wednesday and runs through February 19 at Cinema Paradiso (1314 East Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Call 954-760-9898, or visit
Feb. 15-19

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Jason Budjinski