Taking place in a small rural town, Carter Smith's Jamie Marks is Dead tells the story of Adam, a high school cross country star, who becomes infatuated with Jamie, a recently deceased fellow student whose body was found down by the river. Bullied, Jamie was a boy with slim to no friends, who no one knew. When Jamie's ghost begins to appear to Adam, he finds himself caught between his burgeoning romance with Gracie, a female classmate, and his deep connection with Jamie, who introduces him to the world of the undead. Carter Smith's Jamie Marks is Dead is an interesting, albeit messy ghost story that's overall message comes off a little muddled. From what I gathered, Jamie Marks is an allegory about homosexuality, with Marks' dead character representing the loneliness and isolation one could feel when surrounded by individuals not open to accepting all types of people. While the film is artfully done from a cinematography and direction standpoint, the writing leaves something to be desired, consisting of way too many eye-roll inducing moments The story itself was far more convoluted than it needed to be too, with supporting performances by Liv Tyler and Judi Greer that feel completely unnecessary and quite frankly slow down the pacing of the film. I understand that these characters are there to push Adam's character into a more isolated state, capturing how him and Jamie can relate, but the way it's done is terribly inefficient. Featuring some solid performances from its lead actors, Jamie Marks is Dead is a slightly more intelligent version of the Young Adult supernatural genre, that is full of emotion but never quite reaches the desired poignancy it was hoping for.
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