Sandy (Laura Sampson Hemingway) is a recovering alcoholic forced to return forced to return to her dysfunctional home after her sister, Ellie (Natalia Ortonowska), is paralyzed from the waist down. Her mother, Glenda (Kaye Tuckerman), is a psychic by trade and overwhelmed by the new circumstances.
In her free time, Sandy finds hookups online, posting videos of herself with wigs and clothing to create an identity for herself that doesn’t reflect the one by which she feels trapped. She and Ellie are close, and bond over their shared feelings of existential confinement, but also resent their relative roles in necessitating their new cohabitation. (Her younger brother, Carlos, played by Mitchell Wray, doesn’t understand why his older sisters won’t just play video games with him like they used to.)
None of the women are caricatures, and their pain is meaningful. A dark family secret binds them together and forms the foundation of their interfamilial tensions. It’s never made explicit, thanks to director Gabrielle Muller’s erudite use of surrealist flair to express darker memories and emotions. Most of the film is told with a gripping, natural perspective, so those moments of visual emotion are all the more effective.
Filmed in Indianapolis, Crossroads of America is a short picture about these three women stuck together and trying to figure out where they fit. The title is the Indiana state motto; our capitol city features intersections of multiple highways and interstates. Indianapolis is just two hours away from Cincinnati and Louisville; four hours from Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis. It’s a nowhere just a stone’s throw from everywhere. The sort of place where everything converges, briefly, before moving on. It’s an apt title for this story.