In idyllic Mid-Coast Maine, the Fowler family's only son Frank comes home from his freshman year at college for summer vacation. His mother Ruth, the school choir director, is unhappy with Frank dating soon-to-be divorced mother Natalie who is several years his senior, but Frank's father Matt, the town doctor, doesn't see a problem. While Frank considers holding off his future for Natalie, her jilted husband causes them all problems until an unthinkable tragedy shakes the community to its very core. Written by
A dark story told with amazing weight and balance, it is cinematically perfect. Aside from the excellent performances by Wilkinson, Spacek and Tomei, it is
Field's film. He uses a deft touch to examine the lives of a couple devastated by loss. The perfection of this film lies in the small touches, the subtle gestures, the powerful symbolism that Field displays throughout. Even the most powerful
moment, the shooting, is done off camera. It isn't so much what you see, its what you don't, what Field implies throughout the film. He creates moments in this movie that convey complex emotion through subtle actions. The film creates
unsettling scenes without being disturbing. Reflections of actors moving as if underwater through their lives, we see them caught in the windows of their
home, ghosts in their house and in their lives, struggling to cope until the film's resolution. Attempting to heal each other and themselves through a single act of redemption that seems at the same time surprising and inevitable. It isn't my favorite movie, but i still think it's as close to a perfect film i've seen.
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