A husband-and-wife team play detective, but not in the traditional sense. Instead, the happy duo helps others solve their existential issues, the kind that keep you up at night, wondering what it all means.
One surprising thing about this film, originally produced for HBO, was the gamble that the casting director used in using two actors usually relegated to the supporting cast - John Heard and Christopher Lloyd - for the starring roles. The gamble paid off magnificently - I don't think I've seen better performances from either of these two men; they really are the real-life people that they play: Heard as local Alaska wildlife officer Dan Lawn, and Lloyd as Exxon executive Frank Iarossi. The film avoids the usual glossy made-for-TV movie-of-the-week style to become a much more incisive film with a big-budget feel about the subtle business and political maneuvering that follow a tragedy such as the Exxon tanker crash in Valdez, Alaska. Kudos to the excellent cinematography of Alaska. I also appreciated the fact that this film was fair in portraying a business executive as a human and sympathetic character rather than the swiny caricature common in so many other films. The filmmakers deserve a congratulations for doing their homework to make each aspect of the film ring true.
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