Written and Performed by Damien Rice
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Worth Seeing for Lane and Banks But A Mixed Bag
Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks do the best work in this film, with Lane given an especially difficult role (and to my knowledge her first not altogether sympathetic one). The film was intelligently scripted, unevenly directed, and for the most part held my interest throughout, more for the character revelations than for the plot points. I do feel however that themes and sub-themes were raised but never really developed or dramatized adequately. For example, the bi-racial character of the community and of the principal characters is prominently presented, but then not really given adequate thematic development in the story. We learn, for example, that the kidnapped baby is the daughter of the first black judge in the county, but not much is done with that fact, or with any of the other bi-racial tropes. Also a quibble, but I think relevant when the filmmakers are striving for realism: when the second young girl has gone missing, only the two detectives seem at all involved in finding her. I believe that anywhere in the US (or in many other countries as well) if a child goes missing for more than 24 hours or even less, the entire region pours forth a huge response in the form of media attention, volunteers from the community by the dozens, additional law enforcement from nearby communities, etc. None of that was evident, and simply points out a general problem with this story - that it was not well enough thought out as a whole. Still I recommend it for the work of Diane Lane and Elizabeth Banks.
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