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Bubble (2005)Bubble (2005)

Barely forty years old and with films like Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Ocean's Eleven, Traffic, and Erin Brockovich to his credit, anything director Steven Soderbergh does is worth a look. In this innovative film he moves from directing mega-stars like George Clooney and Julia Roberts to using non-professional, local people as "actors," who participated in the script, to tell a simple, powerful story. The film was set in their homes and made for a measley $1.6 million. In real life Debbie Doebereiner worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken for twenty four years. In the film she stars as Martha, an overweight woman with orange hair whose life consists of working in a doll factory in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and taking care of her invalid father. Her younger co-worker Kyle does not own a car (he lives in a mobile home with his mother), so she taxis him every day, and generally mothers him. The two are joined in the doll factory by Rose (in real life Misty Dawn Wilkins, a hair dresser), a single mom who like Kyle did not finish high school and who works two jobs struggling to get ahead. The night that Martha babysits Rose's daughter so she and Kyle can go on a date ends in tragedy. These extremely ordinary people are trapped in the banalities of life as grey as the Ohio Valley landscape, living on the "bubble" that in their case bursts. Bubble also makes history as the first film released simultaneously in theaters, on pay-for-view cable television, and on DVD. I loved this deeply human film.

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