Centered on the search for a 3-year-old girl whose disappearance links a disparate group of professionals, the film is intelligently staged, easing through the sometimes awkward shifts in tone by dramatizing its characters' recurring need for deeper personal connection and emotional fulfillment.
The worst that can be said of the film is its clear affinity with the earlier works of Atom Egoyan. (The film is produced by Egoyan's longtime collaborator Camelia Frieberg.) It suffers from the same problems that afflicted Egoyan's earlier work, a preciousness that drained the life out of his characters.
But Podeswa is a talent. He effectively introduces his varied cast, painting small, vivid strokes to suggest their internal, emotional or physical conflicts.
A French ophthalmologist (Philippe Volter) is traumatized by the gradual loss of his hearing; a message therapist (Gabrielle Rose) can't communicate with her bright though withdrawn daughter (Nadia Litz); Anna (Molly Parker) grieves over the loss of her child but remains hopeful of her return; bisexual Robert (Daniel MacIvor) tracks down his past lovers to find his need for love; and Robert Best's friend Rona (Mary-Louise Parker) must overcome a language barrier with her handsome new Italian lover to discern the authenticity of her actions.
Aided by his gifted cast and the subtle, nuanced camera work of Gregory Middleton, Podeswa works in the right moods and feelings, never forcing one viewpoint over another, but instead invests each character with a humanity, vulnerability and feeling that appears genuine and honest.
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