South Mountain explores a changing life

Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, and Macaulee Cassaday in South Mountain

South Mountain, written and directed by Hilary Brougher, examines a few months in a woman’s life when things change under her and out of her control. It’s streaming on Prime Video.

South Mountain stars Talia Balsam as Lila, a forty-something woman who has her life where she wants it. Then everything changes. Talia Balsam is terrific in this small and quiet film about how a family adapts and moves on.

Scott Cohen plays Lila’s husband, Edgar. They live in a remote home surrounded by woods in the Catskills. Their oldest daughter Sam (Macaulee Cassaday) and their younger daughter Dara (Naian González Norvind) are preparing to go off on summer adventures. Their cancer-ridden friend Gigi (Andrus Nichols) is over for a cookout. A young man named Jonah (Michael Oberholtzer) is there for the summer.

Edgar’s phone rings and he goes inside.

Edgar spends the rest of the day on Facetime watching his young girlfriend have a baby boy. He announces he leaving Lila to go live in the city with his new family.

The relationship in this family is interesting. It isn’t Edgar’s first fling, but it is a significant change to the way those flings are handled. Everyone goes a bit nuts for the next few months as they process the family reconfiguration in their individual ways. It all revolves around Lila and her time in the house as everyone goes off in different directions.

The film takes you through this life crisis in the family in a clear-eyed, warm way. It’s a fine example of the intimate stories about women’s lives that you can find when you explore women writers and directors. It’s a shoestring budget gem telling the story of a woman just past middle age.

South Mountain poster

Have a look at the trailer.

Think you might take a look at this one? If you watch it, let us know what your thoughts are about it.

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