Photo from deadlantern.com

Mason is an asthmatic loner living in an apartment in glum Portland. He works as a telemarketer at an auto insurance company; at lunch he eats alone, consuming a sandwich, an apple, a carton of milk. He paints, he listens to jazz. He really likes jazz. Berkeley, his unusually protective boss, seems to be his only friend.

This film was screened in 2007 at the Santa Barbara film fest, and won the Gold Vision Award. I found the film well-photographed, well-acted, with some affecting scenes. Conclusion’s not that original, but it’s serviceable.

However: It’s frustrating because in some key scenes, instead of sticking to the musical score, the filmmakers opted to use pop/alternative rock songs. Aren’t we all for atmosphere? You give me a rainy Portland and then shift to an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s frustrating because it could have given a deeper insight into a telemarketer’s life, and into Mason’s life. Berkeley (played by Chuck‘s Zachary Levi) is a truly intriguing character, and I would’ve wanted to learn more about him.

Sure Spiral won that award, but it could’ve been more.

You can stream it here.

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