Kevin Corrigan, Daisy Rojas, Amy Ryan, Bill Sage, Brian Tarantina, Ed Vassallo
Eric Mandelbaum, David Kashkooli, Kevin Murphy, Sam Adelman, Katherine Szilagyi
Roberta is a fascinating personal odyssey of one man's internal search for significance, enacted by a superb cast and highlighted by very conscious art direction. Gray-toned, minimally constructed sets provide the backdrop for a penetrating central performance by Kevin Corrigan, intricately portraying the character's obsession to find meaning in a seemingly complete life.
Jonathan Fishman (Corrigan), a young professional, seems to have everything one needs to be happy: a good job, money in the bank, and a caring girlfriend. Yet he still longs for more. While on a job in an industrial district, he encounters a streetwalker, Roberta (Daisy Rojas). To the dismay of his friends, his business partner, and his lover, he decides to help Roberta off the streets by moving her into his apartment and teaching her the skills necessary to find a job in his professional world. As he selfishly enlists his friends in his quest, his altruism soon reveals itself as something more, and his life slowly and dangerously unravels.
A finely envisioned wont that is cold in the best sense, Roberta is more than a standard search for meaning. Within this central construct lie fleshed-out characters. Roberta is far more than the manifestation of Jonathan's desperate attempt to find salvation; aheis a complex character who is struggling with her own choices as well. It is writer/director Eric Mandelbaum's ability to humanize these potentially two dimensional symbols through precise performances that makes Roberta a stunning and notable directing debut that should not be missed.