I love music-themed movies, so I was excited to see SOLD OUT. Somehow I did not realize the Minnesota-connection until I started watching this movie, which opens with a snowy Minneapolis skyline. Strangely-enough, I warmed up to this movie right away. It centers on a down-on-his-luck construction worker John (Sam Bardwell) who wants to pursue his musical dreams as a singer/songwriter. We first meet John in marriage therapy with his wife who clearly isn’t too happy about her husband’s idea of becoming a musician. Later on we meet freelance talent scout Kat (Kelsey McMahon) who’s having a moment as the rock band Lincoln 8 she discovered just had a breakthrough. They’re playing to a sold-out crowd at First Avenue, a major Twin Cities landmark, and getting multiple offers. The scene of the band playing on stage is beautifully-shot and it’s even more fun for me to watch as I actually knew a couple of the actors in the band – Matt Bailey (looking every inch a rock star as the lead singer) and Alex Galick as the keyboardist.
John and Kat end up meeting by chance at a bar, when he overhears that she is a talent scout. John takes a chance and gives his CD to Kat to listen to, which leads to Kat taking him under her wing to help him realize his potential. I usually enjoy music-themed dramas like Begin Again, Sing Street, Once, etc. and this one has a similar vibe. The road-movie aspect as John and Kat go on the road together gives a chance for the two main characters to connect, plus it also showcases some really cool MN Wintry scenes. There’s a memorable scene right in the middle of a frozen lake at sunrise that could totally be the film’s poster!
It’s always important for films about music to have memorable musical sequences in them (on stage or otherwise) and there are a few here. I like the scene where John does a duet of Amazing Grace with Kat’s dad in the kitchen. It’s such a lovely, intimate moment. I love that the film shows the process, struggles and sacrifices that one has to make to pursue one’s dreams, even if it seems out of reach. Director Tim Dahlseid, is quite impressive in his feature film debut, ably balancing the music, drama and romantic aspects. I also commend Susan Brightbill (who’s written a TV movie called Holiday Hearts) for penning a compelling script with a complex woman at the center. There is a lot of layers to the story in terms of who Kat really is–there’s really a lot for a talented performer to dig into.
SOLD OUT is now available to rent on AMAZON PRIME
12 thoughts on “TCFF Indie Film Review: SOLD OUT (2021)”
Adding it to my watchlist.
Awesome! You’ll get to enjoy a good movie + music set in a beautiful, albeit cold, Minnesota Winter!
Thank you Ruth for this thoughtful review! We couldn’t have asked for more, so blessed and grateful.
Hello Tim! How kind of you to leave a comment here on my blog. I really enjoyed SOLD OUT, glad to see Sam Bardwell is nominated for TCFF award. Kelsey McMahon is excellent as well.
Thank you! Sam and Kelsey are fantastic! Please share.
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This is a great review, Ruth! I also loved SOLD OUT, which also sold out at TCFF (rush line only). Also I got to meet Sam Bardwell and Kelsey McMahon, both of whom are really nice and down to earth in real life. I’m so happy for Sam and Kelsey, as well as Tim Dahlseid and Susan Brightbill that Amazon picked up the movie for distribution on its streaming platform. The more exposure it gets, the better.
Glad to hear you got to see it and meet the cast. I’m hoping to meet Tim and Susan as well on Saturday at the Closing Night party.
Thank you Vitali Gueron for sharing your thoughts! It’s very kind of you to take the time and do that. I’m so glad you were able to meet Sam and Kelsey. They are amazing people in real life. One of our goals was to create a safe set with kind, good people (including the crew). I feel that we suceeded and are so blessed and grateful to all involved. We hope to do right by you on the next one.
Hey Flixy, so glad you reviewed this movie so I got a heads up to watch! Saw it yesterday and LOVE that it’s filmed in MN in the winter. And the scene with car on the frozen lake with John and Kat having so much fun is spectacular. I liked recognizing several locations such as the historic Wayzata train station John was in when he left Kat. All around a really nice film.
Hi Becky! Glad you saw this one. Yes, MN winter can be beautiful and even charming, I love how it’s being showcased here and that frozen lake scene is such a highlight!
Great movie but sad. i had the feeling the actors were not acting but reliving their lives. It did not feel like a fantasy but something very true to life. I would love to know how the author got their source material and who she (he) based their story on.