In Dream House, the skillfully-made new 31-minute short from director Jeff Bemiss, flashbacks chronicle the life of the O’Brien family – starting in the 1960s when they reigned as an ideal neighborhood family, through to the 1990s… when things have taken a turn.
Elderly matriarch Ginnie (Carol Lambert) lives in seclusion with her gay son, Mark (Ryan Farley). It’s a bit of a Grey Gardens situation. While their idealized family home is falling apart, Mark finds himself trapped in limbo, waiting for his adult life to begin. Ginnie just can’t seem to let go of the past and Mark, a dutiful, caring son, can’t let go of her.
The pair are visited periodically by Mark’s younger brother Dickie (Sean Harris). Now in his thirties, Dickie is an extremely successful businessman who seems to have a model family of his own. There are, however, big cracks in the foundation of the life that he’s built. Like Mark and his mother, Dickie will have to revisit the past in order to move forward into his future.
Mark also finds himself increasingly torn between his dreamlike past and an uncertain future when Ginnie hires Ted (Lance A. Williams), an “on the cheap” handyman, to start fixing up the house. As Ted befriends Mark and the romantic chemistry between them becomes apparent, he starts seeing a new life for himself beyond what he ever considered possible.
Co-written by Kevin Commins and David Lally, based on Lally’s stage play of the same name, Dream House features a terrific ensemble cast comprised mostly of accomplished stage actors making their film debut. The story they come together to tell packs an emotional punch.