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‘Get Yourself Tested’ Videos + Another ‘Norman’ Review

A while back we reported that Emily was taking part in the Get Yourself Tested program, a national campaign with the goal of spreading awareness among young people about getting tested for STDs. Well, below you can watch two short PSA videos for the campaign that both feature Emily.

I also found another positive review of Norman from it’s screening at the Waterfront Film Festival:

Review: Norman (2010)
By: Andy Lauer

High school is hard; for Norman Long, triply so. Having recently lost his mother in an auto accident, now his father is dying of cancer. Confused, hurting, and angry, he traverses his senior year by keeping everyone at arm’s length with his dark wit, depressing declarations, and disinterested demeanor. When his only friend attempts to press into the woundedness, Norman deflects by declaring that he has cancer and is dying. Speaking this half-truth (for while Norman doesn’t have cancer, he is dying inside) sets in motion a cascade of consequences that erodes Norman’s hardened exterior and creates an opportunity for honesty and love.

While Norman could have easily fallen into the mire of your typical teenage angst film, it flies above this self-involved type of cinema on the backs of its two lead actors (Dan Byrd as Norman and the always brilliant Richard Jenkins as his father). Both actors bring a no-nonsense approach to their craft here and willingly subject themselves to the full-range of emotions one would expect between a young son and his dying father. Eschewing melodrama, the actors set the right tone between honesty, humor, and heartache. I shudder to think how off-track this film could have gone were it not for Dan Byrd’s willingness to risk and Richard Jenkins’ mature presence.

In addition to its fine acting, this film has a compelling score provided by versatile composer/songwriter Andrew Bird. I appreciate music that compliments a story and does not seek to draw attention to itself, and Mr. Bird’s score provides the appropriate emotional punch when necessary but never attempts to make more of itself.

At its core, Norman is a resurrection film; a story about life out of death. As one might imagine, such a rebirth is not easy nor all together fun; yet, this movie has plenty of sweet moments to soften hard edges (not to mention some beautiful cinematography that also helps). As you stand on your two new wobbly feet at film’s end, I guarantee that you’ll be better for having joined Norman in his bittersweet journey.