Essay by Thelma Adams below, please scroll down.

"The best movies are always about character development and
storytelling; Racing Daylight excels at both. This visually
attractive, carefully crafted film keeps viewers guessing, lifts their
spirits and transports them through time. David Strathairn and Melissa
Leo deliver memorable performances. This audience-pleasing film
stands-out and deserves wide distribution."
Thomas Baker, Ph.D., Coordinator, The Accolade,

"I went to see your fabulous film last night ... and was completely
blown away. Excellent work! Every element (cast, crew, designers,
editor, writer-director) everybody.. was completely on-board in making
your moving, frightening, visually stunning film.

Seret Scott, Director

"... the phantoms of people who lived in the past are still
haunting the landscape that we see now. The connections you
made between the historical action and the present-day events were
poetic and not heavyhanded. The film was shot beautifully, too"
Liegh Woods, Professor of Theatre & Drama in the School of Music, Theatre, and
Dance at the University of Michigan

"...your film is one that can be watched over and over. One can learn
from it each time..."
Robert Salz, VP Sales, Clos Du Val Winery

"I loved this film - there is just no other way to say it. Told from the
perspectives of different characters and spanning different time
periods, it tells a love story that lasts through the ages. But romance
is only the beginning. There is also intrigue, murder, supernatural
incidents and ultimately the truth of a buried family story. Racing
Daylight is beautiful and artfully told with amazing photography
and a wonderful soundtrack. It also helped that we were
watching it on the beach, so anytime water was featured on screen,
there was a natural soundtrack of waves gently crashing only 20 feet away."
A review from 'the Casual Critic', a Fairhope Blogger

"I watched Racing Daylight last night and I found it intensely moving,
quite beautiful. The story was haunting and it looked gorgeous.
Melissa was superb, as was everyone... congratulations on a lovely film."
Caroline Sinclair, Casting Director

" When they are viewed in their entirety (the 3 short films that make up
'Racing Daylight'), they become pieces of an intricate puzzle
uncovering a story of lost love and attempts to regain it in another
lifetime. Without announcing from the beginning it is a mystery,
the film becomes one, gradually fitting together the clues and
culminating in a moment of resolution and redemption. It is a moving
experience, a mix of pathos and humor, just as life has always been
through the ages."
Deborah Buckner, AnE Vibe, Kansas City, Kansas 4 Stars

"... adroit storyteller ... modulated, finely tuned performances
from about the best assembly of screen actors -- and I do
mean actors -- I have seen this side of the Atlantic. Well done."
Dunbar Ogden, Professor Emeritus Of Dramatic Art at
the University of California, Berkeley.
Author of: "Performance Dynamics and the Amsterdam Werkteater"
(University of California Press, Berkeley)
and the upcoming:
"My Father Said Yes, A White Pastor in Little Rock School Integration",
foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Vanderbilt University Press),
April 2008

"...I watched your wonderful film -- I want you
to know that I enjoyed the film - and that it stayed with me. I
thought the acting was terrific ... and I loved the way the stories interwove."

Meg Lefauve, 1-Eyed Dog Productions

"I'd encourage you to see this ... I've seen this accomplished, original,
wry, supernatural film -- twice -- and am a big believer in both the film
and the people involved."
Thelma Adams, Film & DVD Critic

"I enjoyed seeing your lovely, lovely, amazingly original film."
Neal Huff, actor

"What a wonderful, charming film you've created! I loved it! The characters,
the plot, music, detail, costumes, pacing, acting, mystery, comedy..."

Maria Reidelbach, artist, author,
creator of the Guinness Book's World's
Tallest Garden Gnome, Kelder Farm, Accord, NY

"I really enjoyed the writing, interaction between past & present,
performances, sense of humor and beautiful spirit of the film..."
Eric Lane, playwright

"I was doubly thrilled and amazed to see Racing Daylight on the big screen
last night. the small screen had not done it justice and I am so glad I was
able to attend. The audience loved it, and I caught so many more moments,
especially the comic ones with the warmth of their laughter...You're right
this is one you must see more than once!"
Laura Shaine (formerly Cunningham)

"Wow it was such a great movie!
We all loved it.
I loved the story and great actors."
Mami Osaki, artist

"I watched your beautiful film two nights ago and I've been thinking about it
ever since. Its haunting images play on my mind. I was moved by your
examination of the complexity that lies behind apparently simple people...
the shy woman that strikes us as a weird loner is really a passionate,
complicated, slightly mad heroine. I loved, as well, your politically
incorrect embrace of madness/passion as a liberating force. None of the
characters are chastised (from the film's pov) for being immoderate.

Passion rules and gives life. Gorgeous and brave.
Melissa and David are,
of course, exquisite.
Perfectly modulated, precise performances.
And Jason Downs holds his own with these two stars. He's so solid (and sexy)."

Ron Nyswaner, Oscar Nominated Screenwriter
(The Painted Veil, Philadelphia)

"Quinn described "RACING DAYLIGHT" as "a bit of an odd film," and she's
right. But it's "odd" in a quirky, enjoyable way. ... both actors
(Strathairn and Leo) are captivating as almost alternate versions of
themselves. Sadie tries to figure out the mysteries of her past and Henry,
the mysteries of his present."
Gerald Lussier, Times Herald-Record (May 6, 2007)

"... Racing Daylight is a lyrical but off-kilter Southern Gothic tale
spanning two centuries and exploring the difficult task of finding love,
honor, and redemption during the Civil War. ... The impressive cast headed
by Strathairn includes Ulster County residents Melissa Leo (The Three
Burials of Melquiades Estrada, 21 Grams) and Denny Dillon (Saturday Night
Live, Dream On), and veteran stage and screen actor Giancarlo Esposito
(Bob Roberts, Do the Right Thing). Boasting hypnotic cinematography and the
scrappy spirit of an independent film, Racing Daylight also features Jason
Downs, Leclanche Durand, and a haunted antique cupboard."
Jay Blotcher, Screen Scene (April 30, 2007)

"I'm glad I finally got a chance to see your film - wow! I was completely
captivated by the story and the acting. I'm glad that we could be of some
help to such a great film."

"I love love loved it. So unique. Very special. The performances are
wonderful. Melissa Leo was outstanding as always and David Strathairn was a
joy. I love movies that are puzzles ..."
Debbie Zipp, COO In The Trenches Productions

"It's so beautiful, like a poem. I love the separate points of view of the
story; the acting; the soft and deep temperament of it; the music; the
visuals; and of course, the writing. Congratulations."
Meira Blaustein, Founder, Woodstock Film Festival

"You have a beautiful unique movie with stellar performances from bonafide
stars... and you've made some new stars!"
Laura Shaine Cunningham, Author
(Sleeping Arrangements, A Place in the Country, Beautiful Bodies)

"The movie took us on a ride - wondering where we were going - different
lives & times - & a great ending - David & Melissa are so good."
Mary Ford, retired, Siesta Key, Florida

"The script is luscious: an edgy character study, a romance and a ghost story all in one."
Ron Nyswaner, Oscar Nominated Screenwriter
(The Painted Veil, Philadelphia)

"An excellent job. Racing Daylight is a real puzzle, it keeps you
going. Your heart goes out to Sadie, and Henry is
Zachary Sklar, Oscar-nominated co-screenwriter "JFK"

"I loved it!"
Emily Bennison, Program Director, Childrens' Media Project

"I think RACING DAYLIGHT definitely has a future with college audiences: it
is smart, and tells stories in a thought provoking manner."

Rachel Lee, Vassar College student

"What a nice movie, nobody got raped, one little swear word, an interesting
story, what a nice movie."
Bill Davenport, retired entreprenuer

"It's beautiful, funny, and amazing."
Andrea Weaver, David Strathairn Online

"It was fantastic."
Anita Jones, Administrator, Poughkeepsie Day School


An essay by Thelma Adams,

Us Weekly film critic and New York Film Critics Circle member

When my six-year-old displayed dramatic tendencies, the actress Melissa Leo
invited us to visit her on the set of Racing Daylight, The movie's title
came to reflect my feelings on mothering: my daughter glows; I chase. And
on that rare July afternoon, on a Catskills film set, I realized the limits
of our time together. Elizabeth won't be this golden-haired girl riding
shotgun in my life for long; this child will break out into the world and
burn, baby, burn. And so I race.

At lunchtime, we approached the Big Blue Barn in Accord, our mom-mobile
joining the aging sedans and trucks that packed the steep gravel drive. On
the lawn, a folksy four-man band with an antebellum repertoire practiced
amid black snaky cables On the patio, actors in period dress ate pasta
salads, their laughter loud and thespian, unequal to their mild jokes and
idle gossip.

Melissa emerged from a sliding glass door. The slender redhead best-known
as Benicio Del Toro's blowsy wife in 21 Grams skipped out to greet us in
earth shoes and a cotton print skirt, welcoming Elizabeth like a VIP. When
she introduced her to the producer, Elizabeth asked, with great seriousness:
"Who's the second producer?" She's in the know.

"And who's the star?" Elizabeth asked. Melissa laughed and said slyly,
"Me!" as if it was a joke she and Elizabeth sprung on the adults.

Melissa led us to Director Nicole Quinn, who shared a step with her husband.
Nico, a fifty-plus African American, welcomed us on the set, eyes tired but
happy, elbows on knees. She began apologizing for not vacuuming (it's
actually her converted barn-home we're in), when a gangly assistant editor
climbed past her on the stairs. She asked him if he ate, with a mother's
concern, then dispatched him back downstairs for food.

With a rapt audience, Lizzy plunged in to pitching her movie. She will
direct, she told Nicole, also produce and star. I, apparently, will write
the screenplay. Then Elizabeth threaded her way down the hall, stopping to
ask the production designer, the hair lady (who's stopped to ooh and aah
over Elizabeth's Goldilocks ringlets), and Melissa, if they will work on her

Having cast Melissa as her supporting actress, Elizabeth, who will also
star, settled on the living room couch amid the wigs and the straw hats and
a misplaced hammer and Giancarlo Esposito, whose scenes had wrapped for the
day. Having never seen Esposito on Disney or Nick, Elizabeth ignored him;
earnestly discussing with the producer whether her production should use
real cats, which are hard to wrangle, or stuffed cats, or children dressed
as cats. Apparently cats figure large in the movie.

After lunch, we went outside in the sticky heat. Elizabeth sat on a stump
near the action, rapt, heavily doused with bug spray, and watched as, time
after time, handsome Jason Downs solemnly approached a slightly flirtatious
Sabrina Lloyd with her hair pulled back in a snood. They repeated the scene
five, six times, Nicole pleasant and patient and encouraging; the snippy
young sound man with shaved head and tats dissatisfied with the sound
quality. He was the only drama queen on the set, except for a bee buzzing
in the brush.

Next set-up, The Camptown Shakers played for the Victorian garden party
scene. Despite the oppressive heat, banjo music and magic filled in the
air. Nicole set the mood; she had the mellow attentiveness to detail of
someone who's wrangled two children through infancy, childhood, adolescence,
to successful high school careers and a bit beyond. She's a heaven-sent
role model, no devil boss in Prada!

"Coffee, any one?" Melissa asked between takes, channeling her inner
production assistant. She had a belly ring, and little five-pointed stars
tattooed at various points on her body ­ her ankle, hip, shoulder ­ a
constellation, she said. Then she laughed embarrassedly: she didn't want to
be a bad influence on Elizabeth, who yearned to be Melissa right then.

As the heat rose, along with the mosquitoes, Elizabeth started to sag. We
began to say our goodbyes then, as we crossed the lawn to our car, Nicole
dispatched the Assistant Director. The stocky twentysomething with a Home
Depot solidity asked Elizabeth if she wanted to be an extra. Suddenly, she
had energy to burn!

The wardrobe lady whisked my daughter to the spare bedroom. She returned
transformed to 19th century girliness in a calico pinafore and straw boater.
Wild ringlets tumbled across the shoulders of her long-sleeved blouse. She
was barefoot ­ her feet too small for any stock shoes ­ but it went with the
summery feel of the lemonade day. She was ecstatic in that great game of
dress-up: acting.

Elizabeth went to the front lawn. Nicole and her cameraman were setting the
shot for a card game beneath a shady oak, where character actress Le Clanche
Du Rand gossiped with the preacher and two others while playing bridge The
sound man grumbled: the trees whispered.

After the extras and crew kvelled, and the actors ignored her, the assistant
director led Elizabeth to her mark beyond the action. It was a lonely spot
in the high grass where she waited until he lowered his hand. The plan was
that after the actors began their dialog, she would run behind them, up the
hill out of the frame, then circle around to the steps leading down to the
camera placement. She would wait there silently for the A.D.'s signal to
return to her mark.

Melissa and I positioned ourselves on a stone bench where we couldn¹t see
the card players but had a perfect view of our star. Elizabeth, focused,
paying strict attention to the A.D., ignored us. On her first try, her straw
boater flew from her head, and she stumbled over the long skirt's ruffle.
But she didn¹t stop or fuss, just gathered the skirt with one hand, picked
up the hat with the other, placed it on her head where she held it securely
and continued her uphill frolic.

Having gasped together when the hat flew, Melissa and I laughed to see how
Elizabeth completely recovered, without a murmured darn, or a wasted motion.
We covered our mouths to keep silent, wiped away tears, in awe of our girl
and the day's assymetrical, unexpected enchantment. When Elizabeth came
around to the stone steps, Melissa and I give her the thumbs-up. She smiled
proudly, but swiftly, looking toward her A.D. to escort her back to her mark
for the next take.

Elizabeth was an instant pro ­ and Melissa couldn't help seeing herself in
my daughter: the glow, the total concentration, the giddy feeling that when
she was acting for a camera at the center of all that activity she was truly
alive. And when Melissa returned at day¹s end to her quiet house, and the
bills, and the what-next of it all, the magic evaporated. Maybe that was
why she lingered, dispensing coffee and joy, twirling in her cotton skirt,
with her tattoo constellation.

We watched as Elizabeth prepared for each shot: grabbing her skirt;
anchoring her hat. She stared at the stocky young man with unflagging
concentration, ignoring Melissa and me. And then, the A.D. lowered his hand
again, six more times. Each time, Elizabeth ran, all golden ringlets like
summer sun, pinafore and pink legs and bare feet beneath the indigo ruffle,
her straw hat a kite caught in a sapling.

Maybe, for Elizabeth, this was the beginning of a glorious career. Or maybe
it was just the July day Mom made the magic happen. It doesn't matter what
she wants to be when she grows up: vet, teacher, film critic, superstar.
It's important to just be in the moment. She is the diva; I am her
entourage. Let her lick the insides out of life's Oreo for the moment; it¹s
one gift I can give her while I'm still picking up the check.

Thelma Adams is the Us Weekly film critic and a New York Film Critics Circle

Contact: BlueBarnProductions

Copyright 2004 Racing Daylight LLC, Accord, NY All rights reserved.