When the daughter of a psychiatrist is kidnapped, he's horrified to discover that the abductors' demand is that he break through to a post traumatic stress disorder suffering young woman who knows a secret...
A talented and successful actor retires at a young age due to a perceived mental illness. Now living in a small town with his deranged sister and his best friend, we watch as their Maladies intertwine.
In Los Angeles, a story about a dead girl, told in five chapters. A woman, miserable in her circumscribed life caring for her domineering mother, finds a body. Somehow, this discovery allows her to change. At the morgue, the sister of a girl missing for 15 years believes the body is that of her sister; this liberates her. An older woman, married to a man who pays her little attention, finds evidence in a storage unit; how will she handle it? The mother of the dead girl, who left home some years before, visits the last place her daughter lived and makes her own discoveries. Last, we flash back to the victim's final day. Written by
Saw a screening at a film fest in Los Angeles last night and was completely blown away. The quiet intensity of the film draws out the audiences emotions without hitting them over the head with obvious messages. Everything in this film is complex and complicated- even the cooking of a T.V. dinner. The subtle direction and overwhelming combination of acting, cinematography and screenplay lets the film build mystery upon mystery drawing the viewer to its inevitable conclusion. Restating the plot would give too much away, but the lines between life and death and their definitions are definitely called into question in this film. The acting in this film is of the "Oscars all-around" caliber and not one performance is wasted or without passion and skill. Brittany Murphy and Kerry Washington are so incredible you wonder why these women aren't getting more attention. Murphy particularly shines here as a teenage girl trying to control the downward spiral of her life. Marcia Gay Harden is brilliant as usual giving us a multi-layered character that could easily have been overplayed. Mary Beth Hurt offers a stunning and revealing portrait of a deeply conflicted character. Giovanni Ribisi and James Franco give surprising support playing against their normal "type". The cinematography is lushly beautiful, yet also edgy and raw- all a perfect complement to the screenplay. The opening scenes featuring the desert are gripping and breathtaking. They mark a fantastic contrast to the rest of the film. Karen Moncrieff's direction deftly weaves the characters together, revealing small pieces of a mystery bit by bit, never stealing time from the actors and allowing this stellar cast to really shine. If you loved "In The Bedroom" this has a similar pace and feel. This film will knock you sideways while watching it and then will linger with you for days to come.
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