Well, for my first Heartland Film Festival screening, A Year in Mooring wasn’t a bad first pick.

The film starring Josh Lucas, Ayelet Zurer, and James Cromwell is the story of a man’s journey on a boat that never sails. He puts himself in solitude for actions in his past and spends months trying resurrect what’s left of his life by cleaning and tending to the broken-down boat.

When the star of the movie, Lucas, first came on the screen, I thought to myself, “Oh, no. It’s that guy from that terrible rom-com, Sweet Home Alabama. I hope this isn’t too disappointing.” Turns out, A Year In Mooring made up for his past filmography.

This film was like watching Castaway. Except there was snow. And it was in Michigan. And there were other people around. Regardless, it had that slow, quiet feel throughout– and lacked dialogue, which normally can make me anxious and bored. Although the film was action-free, I couldn’t stop watching. It was an hour into the movie that I realized I didn’t even know the main character’s name. I think that’s a big win for a film if you can feel connected to characters without a name or a full backstory. (And, by the way, his name in the film is The Young Mariner. I had to look it up.)

The cinematography is beautiful. Maybe it’s just the Michigan scenery, but I loved the detailed close ups and the colors throughout the picture. Only a few parts of the film bothered me: a few too many awkward “we’re having fun and laughing about it” scenes and the fact that The Young Mariner arrived wearing a business suit and had one suitcase, but he wore every stereotypical item of sailing clothing. Peacoat? Check. Turtleneck? Check. Flannel? Check. Bubble vest? Check!

A Year in Mooring isn’t a movie for everyone. But if you’re open to it, I recommend you check it out. There’s one more showing on Friday, Oct. 21 at AMC Castleton Square. Starts at 9:15 p.m. Be there.