FFF 2019 – Review: CHAINED FOR LIFE Is A Noble And Entertaining Satire About Diversity


Chained for Life is a creative, funny, and well-meaning film that is brilliantly-shot and features a wonderful performance from disabled actor Adam Pearson.
Technical Merit

Chained for Life is a new comedy film written and directed by Aaron Schimberg. The movie follows a photogenic moviestar (Jess Weixler, Teeth) who must come to terms with her disfigured co-star (Adam Pearson, Under the Skin) while working on a European director’s English-language debut. It has played at festivals including the 2018 Fantastic Fest and the 2019 Florida Film Festival.

This film has to have one of the most positive and inspiring messages to come out of any movie that has played at the festival or even in general theaters this year. The main point of this film is inclusivity, and it does a great job of delivering that statement without feeling too preachy or on-the-nose. Additionally, the movie itself offered ample opportunities for the employment of disabled and underrepresented actors, which is admirable in and of itself.

As a fan of film, the story is undeniably interesting and offers plenty of interesting and thought-provoking moments. Portrayal of disabilities in the media has always been a problematic topic, and this story tackles that theme in an effective and entertaining way. The multi-layered narrative is very fun and creative, although there are a few moments that could have used a bit more clarity.

The characters in the movie are extremely well-developed. It is rare to see a disabled character portrayed in a way that is as nuanced and humanistic as this. Usually, a disabled person is either portrayed as a victim or a monster, and this film does not corral the lead into either of these. Instead, he is shown with all of his personality flaws in full display, making him likable and sympathetic. His relationship with the other lead character is quite intriguing as well.

chained for life dance

However, the movie would have benefitted from playing off of some of the emotional moments more intensely. There are plenty of scenes that could have been far more impactful, particularly involving the relationship between the two leads. That being said, the ending works extremely well, hitting much harder than you would expect given the beginning of the film.

The movie as a whole has a sense of dry, dark humor about it that is extremely entertaining. Not everyone is going to pick up on or enjoy the humor, but those who do are likely to find it to be hilarious. A majority of the movie’s humor comes from the satire about the industry’s treatment of disabled people. As such, those who are well-versed in film history are sure to find plenty to laugh about.

The acting in the movie is undeniably the best part. Unfortunately, Hollywood’s bias towards attractive stars results in tremendous talents like Pearson being left in the dust, but thankfully, movies like this give them the chance to shine. Pearson’s performance is absolutely phenomenal and full of emotional nuance. It is one of the best male performances of the year so far and will likely end up gracing my end-of-the-year favorites list. He is complemented very well by Weixler, and their chemistry together is phenomenal. They truly light up the screen when they appear together.

On a technical level, the film is also extremely impressive. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful. Some of the shots and compositions in the movie are absolutely breathtaking, like the last shot in the film that takes place in a bus. This is one of the best compositions of the year. The ways in which the filmmaker played with lighting are also impressive, particularly during a scene which features the disabled lead stepping out of the shadows.

Overall, Chained for Life was a very impressive movie. There are a few moments that could be a tad confusing, but for the most part, it is a brilliant film that has its heart in the right place. Keep this one on your radar.

Chained for Life played at the 2019 Florida Film Festival.


Star Trek: Discovery | Dig Deeper Into Burnham’s Mission To Rescue Book

Expanding on Commander Burnham's unsanctioned mission to save Book from slavery on Hunhau, Executive Producer/Co-Showrunner Michelle Paradise and stars Sonequa Martin-Green (Commander Burnham) and David Ajala (Cleveland "Book" Booker) speak to the characters' motivations and burgeoning relationship. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. WATCH…

Reasons You Need a Mask | The Mask | HBO Max

We could all learn a thing or two from Jim Carrey's iconic performance as Stanley Ipkiss in the 1994 film, The Mask. Mainly, save the day and wear a mask! Stream The Mask now on HBO Max. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxYouTube Be the first to know more: HBO Max: https://hbom.ax/YT Like HBO Max on Facebook: http://bit.ly/HBOMaxFacebook Follow…

Madagascar: A Little Wild -Season 2 Trailer (Official) • A Hulu Original

The zoo crew is back! 🍃 A new season of Madagascar: A Little Wild premieres December 11. ABOUT MADAGASCAR: A LITTLE WILD SEASON 2 Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria continue their big adventures in New York City. The foursome become babysitters for a new litter of tiny hedgehogs, Melman gets stuck in a firetruck, and…

Giving Voice | Official Trailer | Netflix

Executive produced by Viola Davis and John Legend, Giving Voice follows students in the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition inspired by the late playwright. Watch Giving Voice on December 11 only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/GivingVoice SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 195 million paid memberships in over 190…

Star Trek: Discovery | There’s Always A Bigger Bully (S3, E6)

Arriving at Hunhau, Commander Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Commander Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) are met by Osyraa's arrogant nephew, but he's never encountered anyone as domineering as Georgiou. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Discovery on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. WATCH MORE: https://bit.ly/2H76sUY Subscribe To The CBS All Access Channel HERE:…

Supernatural | Season 15 Episode 20 | Carry On Promo | The CW

Stream Supernatural free only on The CW: http://go.cwtv.com/genSPNyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About SUPERNATURAL: The thrilling and terrifying journey of the Winchester brothers continues as SUPERNATURAL enters its fifteenth season. Sam and Dean have spent their lives on the road, battling supernatural threats that include everything from the demon that killed their mother to the usual vampires,…

Home for Christmas Season 2 | Official Teaser | Netflix

Who has finally captured Johanne's heart? Find out on December 18 when Home for Christmas returns for a second season. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 195 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres…

Time – Full Movie | Prime Video

In this intimate yet epic love story filmed over two decades, indomitable matriarch Fox Rich strives to raise her six sons and keep her family together as she fights for her husband’s release from the Louisiana State Penitentiary, commonly known as Angola. » Watch Time on Prime Video: https://bit.ly/TimePV » SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/PrimeVideoSubscribe About Prime Video:…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here