In this sweet and funny spin through the streets of Los Angeles, writer-director Alex Holdridge delivers a poignant comedy about love, connection and starting over. Broke and alone on New Year's Eve, Wilson (Scoot McNairy) just wants to spend the rest of a very bad year in bed. He's moved to Los Angeles to follow his dream to be a writer and in short order, lost everything. Yet his best friend refuses to let Wilson wallow, convincing him to post a personal ad on Craigslist. When Wilson meets Vivian (Sara Simmonds), a woman hell-bent on finding the right guy to be with at midnight, the two strangers chase the promise of a fresh start as the clock ticks down. Lyrically rendered in black and white, the film's striking cinematography filters out the glitz and brings the sprawling city down to an intimate scale by exploring the streets of downtown Los Angeles. As much a love song to the urban architecture as a search for personal connection, the film ably captures the city's faded glory-the defunct stock exchange, empty historic theaters, even a single shoe abandoned on the sidewalk- highlighting the vulnerability of its characters and the sensation of being lost in plain sight. Alternating nimble dialogue and engaging performances from his cast with montages set to an indie-darling's soundtrack, Holdridge manages to create a timeless feel, even as the characters race toward the new year. From the pencil to the lens, his powerful creative vision perfectly captures the conflicting sentiments of an imminent new year in this charmingly candid romantic comedy.
ALEX HOLDRIDGE went from high school valedictorian to straight-A college graduate to English major drop out. He says movies are to blame. He eked out his first feature, Wrong Numbers, while delivering chicken, waiting tables, and seeming like the could-have-been-something child. It went on to win the audience award at the Austin Film Festival and attracted attention from multiple studios in Hollywood. When the opportunity came to direct another script he had written, Sexless, he took it and won both the Jury and the Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival; it is the only movie to have done so since its inception. In Search of a Midnight Kiss is inspired by his transition to full-time life as a writer, director and human in Los Angeles.