‘Port Authority’ is the New York City bus station on W. 42nd Street that is a dizzyingly hive of activity, both good and bad, and it’s also the name of a new film opening this week.
Directed by Danielle Lessovitz, In ‘Port Authority’ we first see Paul (Fiona Whitehead) who arrives at the bus station hoping to be picked up by his half sister Sara, but she never shows up. Paul, 20, got kicked out of his home in Pennsylvania, and is on probation, hence his escape to New York to start a new life. Outside there are a few ethnic youngsters rapping and dancing that catch his attention. But soon enough, with nowhere to go he’s riding the subways and gets beaten up by two thugs. Fortunately for Paul, Lee (McCaul Lombardi is sitting in the same subway car. Lee gets Paul a bed in his shelter and ropes Paul into working in his removals business.
There is one black gay man at the shelter who Paul sees dancing in the stairway, and one late night Paul follows him to a place where a group of young adult are performing freestyle dancing. Paul also takes notice of Wye (Leyna Bloom) – and coincidentally they were the ones he saw outside the station on his arrival to NYC (too much of a coincidence). Paul is transfixed by Wyes beauty, and soon enough Paul is smitten with her. But he keeps his living situation in a shelter from her, while she in turn also harbours secrets she’s yet to tell Paul. They both lead doubles lives and must reconcile the truth before they can be together.
‘Port Authority’ is a special movie. The story is unique, the acting is perfect, and the underlying love story is very believable. Credit goes to Whitehead (previously scene in ’Dunkirk’) ) and Bloom (hard to believe but a complete novice to films) who light the screen on fire, together they are both emotional and raw. An original story also written by Lessovitz, ‘Port Authority’ played at Cannes Film Festival in 2019, and has been nominated for several awards internationally. Filmed in 2018 – ‘Port Authority’ is finally getting a cinema release it fully deserves.
Momentum Pictures will release ‘PORT AUTHORITY’ In Theaters on May 28th and On Demand and Digital on June 1, 2021.
Review by Tim Baros