Cornelius is a sweet, character driven drama about a father (Jason Williams) who has suffered a nervous breakdown and is now trying to reconnect with his estranged son (Rock Williams), while simultaneously attempting to navigate what has become for him a strange and unfamiliar world.
Hartford Advocate - Adam Bulger
Cornelius harkens back to an earlier time in independent films, before modern quirk fests like Juno, Garden State and Little Miss Sunshine cluttered up art houses with bright colors, uplift and weepy college rock. It's closer to the late '80s and early '90s indie films, when independent films were entry ways into alienating, strange environments.
It's not a perfect film, but its imperfections - it's a little overambitious in its editing and loose in its acting - are forgivable in light of its strengths. Though shot on video, the mostly black and white Cornelius has the spare visual poetry of a Jarmusch movie, the failure of communication of a Hartley film and something increasingly rare in indie fare: a non-white main character in an urban environment. Jason Williams - who, like Blanco, is a graduate of Hartford High School and a member of the musical group Spigga - stars as the title character, and his waist-length dreadlocks and mournful face are one of the first striking visual elements of the film. And the fact that such a large, imposing guy with such long dreadlocks remains so quiet throughout the film is another.
Jason Williams, Bobby Foster, Rock Williams, Darling Narita, Ira Katz, Julie Ann Fergus, Liliana Montero
"Sleeping Giant" Award Kent Film Festival 2008
2nd Place Narrative Competition Athens Film and Video Festival 2008
Kent Film Festival 2008
Athens Film and Video Festival 2008
Hartford International Film Festival 2008
Imagine Film Festival 2008