There's a murky tenuous balance between reality and fiction; particularly when it involves a beautiful young woman, murder, a powerful politico, a missing fortune and suicide. A passionate filmmaker creating a film based upon a true crime casts an unknown mysterious young woman bearing a disturbing resemblance to the femme fatale in the story. Unsuspectingly, he finds himself drawn into a complex web of haunting intrigue, obsessed with the woman, the crime, her possibly notorious past and the disturbing complexity between art and truth. From the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to Verona, Rome and London, new truths are revealed and clues to other crimes and passions, darker and even more complex are uncovered. Written by
In Monte Hellman's first feature in 21 years, 'Road to Nowhere' (based on a script from Steven Gaydos), the director weaves together three separate story lines including the making of a film, the film that is being made, and the mystery on which the movie that is being made is based. A double suicide in Bryson County, North Carolina involving a local politician and a Cuban refugee ends up costing the state $100 million. Shortly thereafter director Mitchell Haven (Tygh Runyan) is making a film based on the event as reported on Natalie Post's (Dominique Swain) blog. The film production begins to unravel when the director becomes involved with the unknown actress, Laurel Graham (Shannyn Sossamon), stirring up jealousy and in-fighting among the cast and crew. Matters are not helped when the film's regional consultant, and former insurance investigator, Bruno Brotherton (Waylon Payne), begins to suspect the actress Laurel Graham of being involved in the actual scandal. As the movie unfolds, the plot threads become an insular maze of self-reference gloriously leading nowhere.
The title, 'Road to Nowhere,' can apply to any number of Hellman's previous works whether in reference to a pass through the Filipino jungle leading to an enemy camp ('Back Door to Hell'), a trail to Kingsley through terrain so barren it looks like a science-fiction landscape rather than the Utah desert ('The Shooting'), or a cross-country race that loses sight of finish line ('Two-Lane Blacktop'). Furthermore, considering the etymological relationship between the words nowhere and utopia, the title can additionally describe the Quixotic quests of the lead characters in 'Cockfighter' and especially 'Iguana.'
I'm glad to see that Monte Hellman is directing again and I can't wait to see where this Road to Nowhere takes him next...because just 'cuz you're heading nowhere doesn't mean you can't make some great stops along the way.
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