Red Road

Imagine my surprise when I saw this quietly involving movie on the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival schedule. I first watched this engros- sing, upsetting, and ultimately satisfying little 2006 film on DVD from the Seattle library. (I loved the captions!)

"Red Road" takes place in Scotland. Our heroine, Jackie, played to perfection by Scottish-born actress, Kate Dickie, is an employee of the CCTV monitoring agency in her city (remember, the UK has the MOST electronic surveillance of any country in the world, with video cameras virtually in every corner of every city).

It is clear from the outset that she is emotionally frozen, but her obser- vations are astute and she shows a great deal of common sense and affection in what she reports to the police, the fire department, etc. In fact you will come to recognize some of the "regulars," e.g., the fellow with the elderly bulldog. She is clearly at arm's length with an older couple who seem to be former in-laws. You see that she is having a perfunctory affair with a married co-worker, though why, escaped me; she didn't seem to be getting much out of it...

During her shift, she thinks she recognizes a face. She makes a phone call to a friend in the police department and discovers that a man named Clyde, played by Tony Curran ("Miami Vice" and "The Good German") who was supposed to be sentenced to nine years in jail, has been given an early release for good behavior. This prompts our heroine to become, what looked to me, a stalker. We don't know why and her target is obli- vious to her attentions. Eventually, she deliberately gets acquainted with him and he is more than a little interested.

This actress isn't beautiful, but during the many, many close-ups and lingering shots of her face, her hair, her eyes, her body, etc., she begins to grow on you...as she does to the ex-con.... Be prepared for some explicit sex, but no gunshots, vehicular mayhem or blowie uppie stuff.

Although you might suspect what she is trying to do, you probably won't guess how she goes about it or what the end result might be. I was impressed!