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The moment she appears on screen, it's clear that Astrid (Rebecca Martos) is having a rough time. She sits alone in bars and restaurants, waiting for the chance to strike up conversations and eventually hook up with random strangers. None of these hookups make her any less alone, not even for a moment, but at the same time she can't seem to manage without them.

And managing is all she's doing, stumbling through each day. AA meetings don't help; they're just another opportunity for a hookup. Her friend Maddie (Olivia Sharpe) tries to support Astrid, but there's only so much anyone else can do when Astrid herself doesn't seem sure that she even wants to feel better. She's lost someone she loved, you see, and sometimes just the idea of moving on seems like a betrayal.

Martos' performance is wonderfully layered and painfully brittle -- Astrid projects a certain tough confidence, but it's clear that's only on the surface and she's barely surviving. It's equally clear that something is going to have to change, soon, but there's no telling what that change will be. The film is quiet, sad, and utterly realistic, but the ending had me as much on the edge of my seat as the most dramatic car chase. I'll give it four and a quarter out of five. It fits perfectly in its short time frame yet still leaves you wanting a little more.

Image: 
Astrid smoking in the window. It's a very slow way to kill yourself.

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