|Index||4 reviews in total|
This undervalued film is consistently interesting, and benefits from solid production values and able performances by cast members, as well as a felicitous score by composer/pianist Cingiz Yaltkaya that matches the work's melancholy tone, and excellent design that adds to the effectively directed pacing of the narrative. It is a tale that relates of a vagabond who decides to investigate the ostensible suicide of his younger brother despite having to deal with rude demeanor from a community that avoids giving answers to his probing queries. Frank Reade (Michael O'Keefe), an aimless rover of sorts, returns to his home town in order to attend funeral services for his younger brother Jimmy, apparently a suicide. His incidental attempts to learn what was behind Jimmy's passing are obstructed by his friends and by his own father (John Seitz), all while Jimmy's somewhat emotionally disturbed girl friend Jolene (Bridget Fonda) attaches herself to an initially resistant Frank; however, her enigmatic remarks to him eventually contain a special significance that lead him to believe that his brother's death may have been a homicide. When Frank delves into possible causes of the fatal event, he unsheathes a tangle of illicit activity involving narcotics that has engaged both Jimmy and his father, in addition to discovering an incestuous relationship that has snared Jolene and, largely as a result of a corrupt local sheriff, it becomes quite plain that Frank Reade's stay in the town will be for a much longer period than was anticipated by him. Most of the film's players are at least competent, with O'Keefe gathering in the acting honours with an intense performance as a loner who finds himself over his head in a struggle with townspeople who are not inclined to wish the best for him. Fonda creates her role of Jolene with skill despite its being a rather underwritten part. Although the scenario hastens to a maladroit conclusion, director Winick and those others responsible for post-production editing have united to establish the work's noteworthy pacing, and the camera skills of Makato Watanabe visually the captures the enervated character of an industrial community in decline. Scoring by Yaltkaya, albeit deceptively modest, has received first class sound editing to match the film's moody temper. Shot in upstate New York's Fulton County, largely in the small cities of Johnstown and Gloversville, this film can be recommended to those viewers interested in independent cinema, principally for its mood projection, as well as for its smooth narrative flow, until its rickety final scenes. It has not been released in a DVD format but is worth one's effort to locate as a VHS tape.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This 1991 film seems to have been completely forgotten, and I've never
even heard it mentioned when people talk about Fonda's filmography. The
fact that it's so unknown shouldn't be understood as lack of quality.
Director Winick presents a vivid, moody, more-dimensional portrait of a lifeless city, with fleshed-out characters played by very talented actors. The film is quiet, and takes a long time before slowly opening up the mystery behind it all. Naturally the story itself isn't new or original (man finds brother dead, returns to hometown, doesn't believe in suicide). While the actual resolution of this story isn't a masterstroke, the characterization of the sadistic police officer seemed original and compelling in comparison.
O'Keefe is more than capable to carry a picture as a lead. Fonda is an even better actress: I could advice you to watch, for example, Cameron Crowe's SINGLES from around this time, and compare the two performances. She's really versatile. Not to mention the fact that Fonda at 27 (and beyond) must have been one of the most beautiful Hollywood actresses of the last twenty years. Imagine that: a famous name, heart-breaker looks and talent.
If it's on: watch it. An interesting nicely filmed thriller with a lot of atmosphere, melancholia and good acting.
I saw this film over 5
years ago so I can't provide too much detail, but it has always stuck with
me. It's sort of a semi-Gothic mood piece, extremely somber (like O'Keefe's
character) and fragile (Fonda's). The film-makers exquisitely capture the
feelings of resentment and bitterness that permeate a dying town where
corruption casts a dark shadow over everything that goes on. O'Keefe has
returned to the town after a long absence to attend, if memory serves, the
funeral of his brother. He strikes up an ill-advised relationship with the
brother's former girlfriend, who knows more than she's letting on about the
mysterious circumstances surrounding the brother's death. In the process
they both run afoul of the town's disturbingly ever-present police chief
(played seedily and sadistically by an actor whose name I can't
For the most part, an achingly rendered tragedy with some remarkably vivid imagery, until it climaxes with an incongruously bloody and violent finale. Still, some of O'Keefe's (almost a grown-up version of his character in "The Great Santini") and Fonda's best, if little-seen and un-commented upon, work.
Out of the Rain (aka End of Innocence) is at least by executional
elements, a somewhat offbeat murder mystery. Although, the story itself
is nothing new (once again). Michael O'Keefe plays the moody Frank
Reade, summoned back to a small Canadian town to arrange for his
brother's funeral after he was found dead. Expecting a short visit, he
instead becomes involved in an investigation into his brothers death.
Increasingly, it does not seem, as had originally been decided, that
his death was the result of suicide. The event implicates his father, a
friend, a drug operation, a crooked cop, and a deceptive girlfriend. In
situations like these, one should expect motives of greed and double
cross even from the most seemingly innocuous.
Viewers who prefer plenty of action and fast pacing to their action films may grow weary within minutes of this picture. It takes long to get moving and never really does approach a severe climax. Although, viewers in the mood for something that might at one time have wound up on cable networks running low-budget b-grade late night fare, might give this a try.
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