Outfest 2020 Review: A Broken Perspective is Pieced Back Together in Suzanne Guacci’s Tender “T11: Incomplete”

In “T11: Incomplete,” Kate (Karen Sillas) works as a caretaker, but it becomes apparent pretty quickly no one is taking care of her. Coming home to an elderly cat too old to muster a purr when she calls out for her, she spends her days tending to the infirm and barely scraping by, making it understandable when she sneaks some loose bills from around their house when they pass. There were once grander horizons for Kate, as writer/director Suzanne Guacci illustrates succinctly by shrinking the frame to boxy Academy framing just shortly after an opening shot of seeing her stand in front of the ocean, but as life has gotten smaller, her anxieties have grown larger, unable to share them with anyone when her only son Jack (Zachary Booth) allows her to see her six-year-old grandson Brady (Maxim Swinton) but has little interest in seeing her himself and the only other people in her life are the ones she tends to on the job.

Guacci was wise to build her third narrative feature around Sillas after working together on the 2015 drama “Stuff,” taking advantage of how the actress can so beautifully exude a sense of sadness that sits behind the eyes of a stoic facade. In “T11: Incomplete,” that expression of the past becomes crucial as you come to learn about the alcoholism that destroyed her relationship with Jack years earlier and while there’s never any temptation to take a drink now, Kate finds herself ready to give in to accepting unhappiness as a default mode, something she shares in common with her latest patient Laura (Kristen Renton), a paraplegic four years removed from the car accident that robbed her of her mobility. The two keep up a professional relationship for the four weeks they’re bound together in physical therapy, but grow close personally as they realize they are held back by the similarly torturous memories.

In Guacci’s films, there’s been a slight element of wish fulfillment when they take a turn towards love stories, though it’s more about individuals falling back in love with themselves than any strong notions of a romance, recasting the slightly fantastical scenario of how such an intimate connection comes to be between Kate and Laura as how they lift each other up to make one another feel desirable again. It’s never meant to end happily ever after between the two, particularly as Laura’s brother Steve (Colin Bates) starts to have his suspicions about what Kate is doing at the house, but Guacci recognizes that it is every bit as satisfying to watch Kate and Laura find peace whether that involves each other or not and with strong performances from Sillas and Renton, the quiet moments of introspection can be captivating. “T11: Incomplete” may start in a lonely place, but in bridging the gap between two people who find that someone needs to look at them in a different way than they see themselves, it makes one feel less alone in the world.

“T11: Incomplete” will be available to stream as part of Outfest beginning on August 27th for 72 hours or until viewership limit reached.

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