Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Clearing -- 2004

The Clearing

A Thousand Words/Wildwood Enterprises Production

Rated: R for brief strong violence and language
My Rating: 5 stars for direction and production
My Rating: 4 stars (minus the 5th because of language)

Robert Redford
Helen Mirren
Willem Dafoe
Alessandro Nivola
Matt Craven
Melissa Sagemiller

One word: abstract.

There is a line in the movie “Amadeas” in which it is said that Mozart's music was perfect and would fall if one measure or note was added or taken away. That is how I feel about this film.

There could be a number of other words used to describe this: beautiful, ugly, angry, fulfilling, sadness. But the first word that comes to my mind is the first: beautiful. Because love is that. In the end, when all is said, felt or done, it is beautiful.

A “self made tycoon” as they describe him, is kidnapped by an old classmate. Over the next hour or so, the story unfolds and you are witness to a couple's love for each other and their family... glowing even in the most difficult times. Even when they wonder if they can trust each other. Even when they've been married for thirty some years.

And you get to see into the mind of the kidnapper. Why did he do it? What led him down this path? What snapped and when? Did anything snap? Where do bitterness and ungrateful thoughts take you?

The movie doesn't end like you expected it to. But even though, I was left feeling filled and hopeful for happiness, even after all the mistakes.

What I liked:
1: The beautiful love this couple had for each other.
2: How well the movie was filmed and directed. Bravo!
3: The actors were phenomenal. All of them.
4: The story was very well written and kept my interest until the end.
5: The 'bad guy' was truly bad and made for a very interesting study of...
6: Psychology... the entire movie was very good that way.
7: This movie made me think.
8: The score was perfect. ::applauds the composer::

What I Didn't Like:
1: The language... not lots of it but enough to be offensive.
2: Swimsuits in the pool... one bikini. It fit right in with the story and didn't seem out of place or overdone but if you have a problem with swimsuits, keep this in mind and a towel handy for the screen. Easily covered.
3: The husband had an affair at one point and the wife goes to talk with the former girlfriend. It's necessary for the story but be warned.

Do I recommend this movie? Yes. Definitely. :-) It's not an entertainment film but definitely one worth watching for excellence in production, psychology, love, family values, etc.

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