Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
How rare and delightful to see a film follow the gentle rhythms of a female friendship as it warps, shifts, and transforms over time. Dan Sallitt’s subtle and poignant Fourteen brilliantly captures the lives of two long-time friends, introspective Mara (Tallie Medel) and extroverted Jo (Norma Kuhling), as they switch partners, change jobs, and weather crises - most of them pertaining to Jo, whose addictive personality and adventurous spirit are often cause for Mara’s concern…
Unlike, say, Boyhood where the passing of years is clearly signaled through pop culture milestones or other like signposts, Fourteen relies on small changes in character to suggest its temporal ellipses. Sallitt, in collaboration with his two leading actors, has here managed a formidable feat, seizing the spontaneity and humour of each individual moment while dovetailing these minor happenings into a much larger narrative of nearly imperceptible transformations. The result is a sometimes bewildering, frequently heart-rending, and never less than stimulating viewing experience.
"As the film jumps ever faster into the future, moving through time like a pebble skipping across the surface of a lake, Mara’s sense of things starts to dovetail with our own. And when lifetimes of latent drama come home to roost in the surprisingly eventful final scenes, Fourteen builds to an unsparingly lucid assessment of what two friends can take from - and carry for - each other." - David Ehrlich, IndieWire