Milwaukee Film Festival 2010: "Feed the Fish"
Post by Jennifer Grundy on 10/3/2010 7:27pm
A second chance at happiness in life is often found when we least expect it. Such is the case for Joe Peterson (Ross Partridge), a children’s book writer suffering from a major case of writer’s block and a train wreck of an engagement in writer/director Michael Matzdorff’s Feed the Fish.
Feed the Fish follows Joe to Door County, Wisconsin from Venice Beach, California with his best friend JP (Michael Chernus) JP invites Joe to join him at his family’s farmhouse as JP trains for the annual Polar Bear Plunge in Lake Michigan. A unexpected (and rather hilarious) accident lands JP in the local ER not long after their arrival, and Joe has his first meeting with Door County’s Sheriff Andersen (Tony Shaloub), a gun-happy, turf-protective man who clearly doesn’t care for this “newcomer”.
Left to his own devices with JP in the hospital, Joe turns to Axel (Barry Corbin), the wise, if somewhat cantankerous, old man who lives just up the road. Axel shows him how to turn on the heat in the house and how to catch fish through a hole in the ice. Joe discovers that the house he is staying at once belonged to Axel, and that the Sheriff is his son and the beautiful woman skating on the ice outside his fishing shack is the Sheriff’s daughter, Sif (Katie Aselton). Joe had met Sif briefly upon his initial arrival into town when he got a cup of coffee at the Viking Grill, where she works. There was an instant connection between the two of them, and as the film unfolds, we see that connection grow as they are brought together after Axel takes a spill on the ice and must spend time in the hospital.
As Joe and Sif get to know one another, the Sheriff gets to know and respect him as well, and is able to finally give his daughter the freedom that she demands and deserves from her over-protective father. But when Joe’s domineering fiancée Lorraine (Vanessa Branch) blows into town unexpectedly, the idyllic world that Joe is experiencing is turned upside down and a series of misunderstandings and mishaps occur. It takes the Polar Bear Plunge and the icy waters of Lake Michigan to reunite Joe, Sif and JP and to celebrate the beauty of truly being alive.
Feed the Fish is a charming film and a spectacular vehicle for showcasing the beauty of Door County in the winter. The local people involved in the film give it a sweet authenticity that only adds to its charm. Writer/Director Matzloff is the nephew of Actor/Executive Producer Shaloub, and both hail from Green Bay.
Feed the Fish is currently screening throughout Wisconsin and will be traveling to Michigan and the Chicago Film Festival in the near future. It is playing at the Milwaukee Film Festival on Sunday, October 3 at the Oriental Theater.