A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
Wayne and Eileen Hayes live the American Dream. Together they've raised two children and struggled to build a successful business from the ground up. But there have been sacrifices along the way. When Wayne is kidnapped by an ordinary man, Arnold Mack, and held for ransom in a remote forest, the couple's world is turned inside out. Eileen finds her home full of FBI agents, their life under scrutiny. While Wayne is engaged in the negotiation of his lifetime, Eileen works frantically with the FBI to secure his release. The terrifying ordeal causes Wayne and Eileen to reassess their marriage and come to a deeper sense of their commitment to each other. With each passing hour, the need and desire for Wayne to return home safely becomes ever more urgent. Written by
When Eileen returns home from the FBI and checks the mail, two identical looking business letters are visible that both have "Pittsburgh, PA" spelled without h in the recipient address. On the first letter the same mistake can also be seen in the sender address. See more »
You know, I never talked to him about it. I never ask him why. I just told him to get rid of her, and we got on with our life. I didn't want to know. I love him, and she admires him.
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I wanted to like this film, and certainly there is room for a psychological character-driven movie which doesn't go for the cheap thrills. Yet, for the enjoyment of a movie, one requires a believable plot, some pacing and editing, and a feeling of involvement. In The Clearing, what starts out as an intriguing mystery, with a kidnapping and unknown motives, turns into a slow draggy pointless exercise. Nothing much really happens, and the so-called character-driven angles (as expressed by the director in his commentary) really don't add up to much.
Fine actors are wasted here. Robert Redford does his best trying to engage and outwit Willem Dafoe. Dafoe brings a bit of nuance to his character, insofar as one can feel somewhat sympathetic towards him. It's unfortunate that Dafoe has been typecast as a villain, he's gone into the Christopher Walken Hall of Fame of Typecasting.
Wendy Crewson is usually good but her character's entry into the movie was brief and contrived, and I was wondering why they even bothered to introduce her character. By far the biggest waste of talent was Helen Mirren. In the director's commentary, all I heard was how fabulous a talent she is. I agree, she's a great actress. Then why was she not used properly? Only towards the climax of this movie does she get to show herself, but by then the viewer has quit caring.
Too bad, I liked parts of this movie, but as another reviewer wrote, once you're halfway in you know the film is not going to get much better.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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