“Catching Dust” fails to capture the attention of the audience. [Tribeca Film Festival]

There is nothing more disheartening that reading what a movie is about and it under-delivering on what the movie could possibly be. The only thing that makes that feeling worse is when that movie is a festival title that someone programmed and saw something in a film that otherwise doesn’t have much to offer. Granted, this isn’t every movie that disappoints, but unfortunately it is the case for Stuart Gatt’s (The Dead Sea) Catching Dust. While there is something lingering in the short running time that could be interesting, it gets bogged down by overly long lingering nothingness, not exploring the interesting aspects enough, and, quite frankly, one of the most bewildering Texas accents possibly ever heard in a film. Catching Dust is appropriately titled as the dust from the tumbleweed that blows through the screen is the only thing audiences are going to be catching.

The film focuses on couple, Geena (Erin Moriarty) and Clyde (Jai Courtney), as they’re living in the middle of the Texas desert, off the grid to avoid Clyde’s former criminal colleagues who are after him to settle their score, and the lawman themselves. The audience soon discovers that other than being a criminal who’s managed to cross all the wrong people, Clyde also enjoys controlling his wife, and she is quite literally terrified of him. When she grows enough courage to say screw it and leave him, a truck carrying a non-mobile mobile home containing another couple consisting of Amaya (Dina Shihabi) and Andy (Ryan Corr) stumbles across them. Not knowing why they’re there or now how to proceed, Geena decides to invite them into her house, and tensions between the new couple and Clyde and his temperament all hit a boiling point and things slowly become more and more uncomfortable.


L-R: : Erin Moriarty as Geena and Jai Courtney as Clyde in CATCHING DUST. Photo courtesy of Tribeca.

Unfortunately for Catching Dust, nothing really expands from this boiled-over tension which gets addressed briefly but is never further or fully explored and just sort of fizzles out. While the tension takes a while to develop even fully, the conflicts are almost just casually thrown out there, and resolutions are walked around instead of fleshed out, creating an overtly forgettable experience.  No one is really redeemable throughout this entire movie. Depending on how one reads the rather ambiguous ending, maybe one character is justified, but, overall, there just isn’t enough to keep audiences grounded and captivated.

While the cast mostly tries to deliver something across the board for the film to find its footing and make something for audiences to connect with, their performances fall short of the hopes they had intended. While Erin Moriarty (The Boys) is certainly giving it her all, the off-putting Texas accent and the lack of help from the story and her co-stars bog down her performance further than anticipated. She has the emotional range to give some life to the performance, but the meandering the film does throughout suffocates any air she is trying to breath into it. Jai Courtney (The Suicide Squad), who’s proven that he can give a nuanced, or at minimum fun, performance even when playing someone awful, is so dull and lifeless in this performance that the only thing he has going for him to be remembered by is his bewildering thick Texas accent that sounds like a parody more than something authentic. While Dina Shihabi (MVP) and Ryan Corr (House of the Dragon) are the side characters, even their deliveries feel monotoned and their actions which add to the tension feel nearly forced. None of the four performances in this film, no matter where they range, can save this bewilderingly uninteresting film beyond that overall sentiment.

Chasing Dust tries to do something, but after watching the movie, I’m not sure what it tried to do. No one has enough screen time or importance in the story to be a character study, and the “criminal living on the outskirts and now has unwanted guests” genre has been done so much that this doesn’t add anything new to that conversation either. It could have potentially made for an engaging 20-minute short. Possibly, with more intense performances, it could’ve also been engaging even on 20 minutes. But as a full-length feature, it has too many unnecessary moments and performances that just swing for the fences and strike out.

Screening during Tribeca Film Festival 2023.

For more information, head to the official Tribeca Film Festival 2023 Catching Dust webpage.

Final Score: 1 out of 5.

Tribeca 2023

Categories: In Theaters, Reviews

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1 reply

  1. The film was amazing your gramma gets a 1 – 5

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