Hello ladies and gentlemen, your pal Muldoon here with a peek at one of (what feels like) hundreds of interesting films playing at this year's SXSW. I'm sure you've seen "Must See" lists on multiple websites all hyping what did well at Sundance and what has certain names attached, but let's face it - it's a festival and festivals are intended to be a fun time finding interesting films you might not yet have known existed, not necessarily a race from one venue to the next. In that spirit, (especially with SXSW) I've intentionally taken a step back and simply watch what films I happen to catch, provided the idea is they're all vetted movies that a team of folks have invited to screen here in Austin. That's where this film came to my attention, not by seeking out, but by it somewhat jumping out at me. I've had the pleasure of seeing the movie and it's quite good, something I think will play pretty well when it premieres this coming Monday at the Vimeo Theater.
From directors Lisa Robinson and Annie J. Howell, who previously came to SXSW with their film SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS back in 2011, we have the story of a woman coming to terms with the (literal) loss of her husband after the man stepped into the woods and was never heard from again.
Three weeks after Claire’s husband has mysteriously disappeared, the police have ended their investigation and her son is beginning to grieve. The only person who hasn’t given up is Claire. Soon she discovers his troubling secrets, including an alluring yet manipulative graduate student with whom he had formed a close bond. As she digs deeper, Claire begins to lose her grip on how well she truly knew her husband and questions her own identity in the process. Claire in Motion twists the missing person thriller into an emotional take on uncertainty and loss.
The film's not a tear-jerker, filled with forced musical cues for when you're intended to feel a certain way, but a near perfect drama starring LIFE IN PIECES's Betsy Brandt as "Claire" and GAYBY's Anna Margaret Hollyman as "Allison," the mystery box of a grad student. I don't typically go for dramas as I know what I like and most of the time it's a VFX heavy thrill ride with one dimensional characters and bizarre costumes (I'm being honest), but at no point in this film did I find myself looking away from the screen. This is very much an actor's film and fortunately Robinson and Howell filled it from wall to wall with an excellent cast that are nothing but believable and pull you into the story with their genuineness. If the trailer below grabs your interest, and you're at SXSW - perhaps this is a film you should seek out!
Screening times/locations for the film during SXSW:
Monday, March 14 4:00PM - 5:23PM Vimeo Theater
Tuesday, March 15 10:45AM - 12:08PM Alamo Lamar C
Thursday, March 17 8:30PM - 9:53PM Alamo Lamar C
- Mike McCutchen