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Quid Pro Quo (2008)

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A semi-paralyzed radio reporter is sent out to investigate a story that leads him into an odd subculture and on a journey of disturbing self-realization.

Director:

Carlos Brooks

Writer:

Carlos Brooks

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Stahl ... Isaac Knott
Leonardo Nam ... Engineer
Rachel Black Rachel Black ... Janice Musslewhite
Jessica Hecht ... Edie
Jacob Pitts ... Hugh
Ashlie Atkinson ... Candy
Jamie McShane ... Man on Sidewalk
Pablo Schreiber ... Brooster
Jeane Fournier ... Charlene Coke
Carmela Marner Carmela Marner ... A Female Wannabe
Phil LaMarr ... Wannabe Group Leader
Matthew Carey ... A Male Wannabe
Ben Siegler ... Man with Trachea Tube
Michal Sinnott ... Isaac's Mom
Joshua Leonard ... Isaac's Dad
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Storyline

Isaac Knott is a public radio reporter in New York, in a wheelchair since an auto accident in which his parents died. He's on the rebound from a relationship when he gets a tip about people who want to be disabled, who offer money to interns to cut off a limb. He searches out a group of these wannabes, but none will talk to him. Then he meets his tipster, Fiona Ankany, an art conservator, attractive and attracted to him. She discloses her desire to be disabled, to be in a wheelchair. Meanwhile, Isaac tries on a pair of wing-tips, spectators, that restore feeling to his feet. What are the connections? What's Fiona's quid pro quo? Will Isaac get his story? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A strange new American dream.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lemlestet See more »

Filming Locations:

La Conner, Washington, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,395, 15 June 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,864, 19 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Isaac: I don't remember *any* of what I'm about to tell you. I only know what the police and coroner's report said. But on the morning of April 5th, 1989, a high-speed car crash occurred, on a rural highway in upstate New York. There were 2 fatalities: my mother died on impact, my father died of hemorrhaging from a torn pulmonary vein and massive internal injuries. I'm listed as a male survivor, approximately 8 years of age. We were going down a road. Nobody had said much of anything yet....
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Connections

References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Jake Walk Blues
Written by Austin Allen and Lee Allen
Performed by The Allen Brothers
Courtesy of The Viper Label
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strange and Fascinating Detective Story
31 August 2008 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Helpful Note: Wikipedia definition: Quid pro quo (Latin for "something for something") indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services.

Carlos Brooks makes an impressive debut as both writer and director of this little independent film QUID PRO QUO, a story that may make some viewers uncomfortable because of the subject matter, but an intelligent investigation of a subculture unknown to most and a script that leads to a surprising ending - if the viewer keeps thinking after the rolling credits are over!

Isaac (Nick Stahl) is a reporter for a small radio station, a role that gives him the opportunity to uncover novel human interest stories for his audience. Interestingly, Isaac is a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair since age 8 when he was the survivor of a car crash that killed both his parents. He has full function of most of his body, but cannot walk. Isaac receives an email from one 'Ancient Chinese Girl' that contains a message about a person who convinced a doctor to amputate a normal leg. Isaac is fascinated and sets out to investigate the story and eventually discovers the source of the email - one young and very beautiful Fiona (Vera Farmiga) - who introduces him to a subculture of people who want to be wheelchair bound: in a group meeting Isaac hears strange stories from a disparate group of people who meet to discuss their obsession with being paralyzed, their chance to be noticed and cared about as quasi-invalids who would go so far as having an amputation of a normal limb to enable their wheelchair dreams.

Isaac soon discovers that Fiona shares this obsession, demonstrates her secrets to Isaac, and the two begin to bond physically and emotionally. Isaac is the first person to see Fiona make her 'debut' in public in a wheelchair. They share lunch in a café and share their life experiences: Isaac confesses that he harbors foreshortened memory of his accident - his last memory is lying in the road seeing a young girl with red and white pompoms trying to save him. Isaac surprises himself (and shares his surprise with Fiona) when he buys a pair of 'Fred Astaire shoes', and upon trying them on, he is able to walk! Fiona's response is mixed - she is happy that Isaac is ambulatory but at the same time she is led to believe that Isaac's paralysis may be of an hysterical nature, that he really has never been paralyzed except as a reaction to the guilt he harbors about his parent's death and his sole survivorship of the accident. How these two people deal with the information as it develops provides a startling ending to this story, a detective mystery that in retrospect proves to have given us, the audience, countless clues throughout the film - clues only discovered in retrospect!

Both Nick Stahl and Vera Farmiga give vital performances, able to draw us in to their odd characters and make us care. There are many fine cameo roles - Kate Burton as Fiona's mother, James Frain as Isaac's priest friend, and all the members of the wannabe wheelchair bound group - and the cinematography by Michael McDonough is both appropriately claustrophobic indoors and transcendently beautiful in the tulip fields of Skagit Valley, WA used as the setting for the upstate New York accident location. Mark Mothersbaugh ties the moods of the film together with his expert musical score. This is a tough little film to watch, but a film that supplies much gratification and challenge. It is a fine debut for Carlos Brooks. Recommended. Grady Harp


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