Linda, a devoted Christian housewife, leads a sheltered existence with her devoutly Christian husband in Texas. Unbeknownst to Linda, her husband has been going to a sperm bank for years in an effort to satisfy his sexual urges. One day while at the clinic he suffers a brain aneurism which completely turns Linda's life upside-down. Linda discovers that her dying husband has a 23 year old illegitimate son, Raymond, living in Florida. Linda is a bag of mixed emotions but grants Abe's final request and sets off on an impulsive journey to find Raymond and bring him back. Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection is an off-kilter drama/comedy in the same vein as some of Todd Solondz's work, though not nearly as unique. The relationship that unfolds between the ultra-conservative Linda and the rebellious, to say the least, Raymond is bizarrely transfixing, with each of them learning more about themselves through the whole ordeal. Natural Selection is more gritty and grotesque then I expected, but in retrospect it really isn't that surprising given that Raymond is introduced as a crusty meth dealer. The film showcases the hypocrisy which runs rampant in the devoutly religious but more importantly it speaks too how we are all human-beings who possess both dark and light attributes. With the way the film ends, Natural Selection seems to even suggest that this higher power is not judgmental, but forgiving, regardless of how hard it is for humanity to not be. Above all though the most important aspect of the film might be the double standard of sexual repression which we see between Linda and her husband. It is handled well, and quite important, especially given what is going on right now in this country. From an emotional standpoint, Rachael Harris holds the film together with a truly engaging central performance as Linda. Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection is a funny and insightful film that is certainly worth watching for anyone looking for a unique experience.
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