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neumu
Monday, November 24, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Clearing cinematronic
  director

Pieter Jan Brugge

cast

Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, Willem Dafoe, Alessandro Nivola, Matt Craven, Melissa Sagemiller, Wendy Crewson, Diana Scarwid, Larry Pine

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  It has the air of a low-budget indie feature, but the psychological drama "The Clearing" happens to feature a trio of celebrated actors: Robert Redford, Helen Mirren and Willem Dafoe. None disappoint here. Instead, it's the story itself that falters. The result is strangely unaffecting, despite the quality of the cast. Redford and Mirren play Wayne and Eileen Hayes, a well-to-do married couple with a grown son (Alessandro Nivola) and daughter (Melissa Sagemiller). Wayne's a businessman; Eileen's a housewife. Although they've endured problems in their marriage, they seem to be over the worst. Then, the unexpected happens. A stranger (Dafoe) kidnaps Wayne at gunpoint and forces him into the woods. Wayne tries to determine why he was targeted, quizzes his captor and seeks a way to escape. Back at the Hayes residence, the police are on the case. Eileen, impatient and trying not to fear the worst, awaits a ransom demand with Wayne's fate in the balance. Flashbacks, some regarding the marital strife between Wayne and Eileen, try to give context to the film's relationships. First-time director Pieter Jan Brugge, an established producer, is competent, yet he brings nothing clear-cut to "The Clearing." The situations are too familiar and the conflicts and motivations are too amorphous for it to be anything besides another credit on someone's glitzy résumé.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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