6/3/09

The Missing Person

First of all, let me say there is NOTHING wrong with the cast in this 2009 SIFF film; it features:
  • Michael Shannon (nominated for an Oscar for "Revolutionary Road");
  • Amy Ryan (nominated for an Oscar for "Gone Baby, Gone");
  • Frank Wood ("The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" - 2009);
  • Linda Emond ("Across the Universe").

Our biggest problem was the way this homage to film noir was shot: weird camera angles, lots of dark shadows, gruff voiceover, understated reactions, oblique relationships and unanswered questions. We walked out with far more questions than answers, and for film noir, that is NOT good! And yeah, it is mostly black and white. We rarely see any trace of color until the very end.

Shannon is the clich├ęd alcoholic private detective; Ryan seems to have hired him to find the eponymous missing person. After a train ride across the country, that person turns out to be Frank Wood; former Seattle stage actress Linda Emond plays the missing person's wife. The deux ex machina which seems to have set all these wheels in motion is 9/11, even though the movie takes place in the present. No, I'm sorry to say, I do NOT recommend this stylish but confusing and frustrating film.