Bubble (2005)

7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Unnatural but natural at the same time

The acting could have been better with a little more coaching

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Bubble

Studio:  Magnolia Pictures

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  September 3, 2005 (Vince Film Festival)/January 27, 2006 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R


Let’s base a movie around manufacturing toys!

Martha (Debbie Doebereiner) and Kyle (Dustin James Ashley) are employees in a small town factory where they make dolls.  When Rose (Misty Dawn Wilkins) is hired to help the group make quota, Kyle begins spending time with the single mother…against Martha’s warnings.  When a tragedy occurs the search for answers begins and the truth of the events could destroy lives.

Directed by Steven Soderbergh with a story outline by Coleman Hough, Bubble was an experimental drama.  The movie was shot without professional actors and filmed on location in Ohio and West Virginia.  The film was released at the Venice Film Festival and then released in theaters and HDNet with a DVD soon following.

I saw Bubble soon after it was released.  I was interested in the process of the film and despite having mixed feelings about the actual final product, I do find the picture stuck with me over the years just in its uniqueness.  Rewatching the film, I do still find it interesting.


So…do you like pancakes or hashbrowns more?

The movie is intentionally mundane.  The scenes sometimes just involve the characters sitting around and having conversations about day to day life.  The story is rather loose and like an actual snippet of life, it doesn’t have much framework.  The actors were given only parts of the story at a time and much of the adlibbed dialogue was built around a few key points that they had to get across.

Soderbergh hired the actors from the area and just found them in different spots.  Many of the stories related are stories from their lives.  This really tears me up a bit.  Their acting isn’t always natural, but they seem natural.  It is a strange contrast.  Soderbergh really doesn’t get the performances that I’d really like from the characters, but there is still something very real about them.


Hey, Martha…how’s it going?

The movie is above a standard, homemade art film just in its look.  Soderbergh has a real style in his shooting and it looks very professional.  The movie might not always have the acting quality I’d like, but the visuals feel like a real Hollywood picture.

Bubble was an interesting experiment.  If Soderbergh’s name hadn’t been tied to it and it had just been Joe Schmo from Ohio, would you be able to watch it and accept it as something great?  I don’t know that I could.  I probably would have dismissed the film or just looked for weaknesses.  I almost wish that Soderbergh had released it without his name and then attach his name a year later to see how the film was reviewed differently.  Soderbergh wanted to make movie movies in this style but as of yet, none have come to fruition.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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