The Clearing

2006-03-30 12:45


Wayne and Eileen Hayes (Robert Redford, Helen Mirren) appear to be living the American dream, until that dream becomes a living nightmare. A self-made tycoon, Wayne is seemingly invincible. But all illusions are shattered when he is kidnapped in broad daylight from their peaceful Pittsburgh estate.

Under the microscope of a probing FBI investigation and her own painstaking introspection, Eileen too is a victim. Meanwhile, Wayne, with his fate resting in the hands of a kidnapper (Willem Dafoe) who has nothing to lose and everything to gain, finds himself in the most important negotiation ever - for his life...

What the critics are saying:

"A kidnapping drama that may be too intentionally low-key to qualify as a thriller but that accrues weight and tension as it makes its way through a forest of repressed emotion."
- Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

"What eventually happens will emerge from the personalities of the characters, not from the requirements of Hollywood endings. Sensing that, we grow absorbed in the story, knowing that what happens along the way will decide what happens at the end."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"What had been an intelligent and intriguing thriller loses its bearing, its momentum and, eventually, its audience."
- Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

A subtle, slow-moving drama about a business tycoon kidnapped by one of his ex-employees. Avoiding the typical cheap thrills of the genre, the film is chiefly worth watching for the brilliant performances by the entire cast.

jack 2004/11/30 12:43 PM
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