Putting spoiler space here because this is a brand-new movie and I don’t want to give anything away to anyone who hasn’t seen it.
I was confused at first because I read that this film wasn’t going to be released until December 3rd but when I saw it On Demand I had to watch it. On occasion, I have been known to delve into reading true crime books or watching an episode of Dateline or something hosted by Bill Kurtis…so I was quite familiar with this story. The only problem is that I absolutely hate watching films (or reading books) based on a true story that have no ending. In this case, the Kirsten Dunst character is still considered a missing person and the person everyone thinks did it is walking free today.Â This is frustrating as hell and normally would keep me from watching but I’ve recently developed an appreciation for Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl is on my list of favorite movies of the 2000s).Â I kind of thought he was a sappy, pretty-boy actor (thanks to The Notebook which, admittedly, I haven’t seen) but he really shines.Â He’s quite talented…even if he does remind me of a younger, less manic and more talented David Arquette.
Here’s where I should mention that I got an email this week from someone who stumbled upon my blog complaining that I don’t write reviews of the movies I watch.Â I know this and I’ve warned folks of this a couple of places on the blog.Â This is mostly for me…so I can remember that I watched the film and what I thought of it (plus it’s just a good exercise for me to be more diligent and focused).Â I certainly appreciate people who don’t know me reading this, but I have no desire to delve into movie reviews.Â Â Been there, done that and hated it.
The acting in this film was so impressive that I ended up watching it again only a few hours after I originally watched it.Â I made someone watch it with me so I could get a different opinion and she enjoyed it as well without having known about the real story behind it.Â It’s a creepy, sad story (and infuriating, really, given how things end up) but well-worth watching.
Ryan Gosling and Lily Rabe as his best friend both give, in my opinion, Oscar-worthy performances.Â Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella are tough to keep your eyes off of as well.Â Nice cameo-ish appearance by Kristen Wiig as a coke-snorting, curse-spewing friend of Kirsten Dunst.Â Director Andrew Jarecki (he of Capturing the Friedmans fame) did a wonderful job of giving the film a documentary-like feel and the atmosphere was sufficiently creepy that my companion in watching it gasped a few times.Â All in all, if I could hook someone else into it, I’d watch it again before my On Demand request runs out.