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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Movie Review - Complete Unknown

Complete Unknown (2016)
Starring Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Michael Chernus, Azita Ghanizada, Danny Glover, and Kathy Bates
Directed by Joshua Marston
**This film is currently streaming via Amazon Prime***

When Clyde (Michael Chernus) brings his new girlfriend Alice (Rachel Weisz) to the birthday party of his co-worker Tom (Michael Shannon), he doesn't expect her to be such a hit.  A biologist studying the recent discovery of a new species of frog just outside of New York City, Tom's party guests fawn over Alice's pleasant, slightly shy demeanor and unique job.  Tom, however, recognizes her right away and, as the night progresses, Alice proves to be a different person entirely from whom she initially presented herself.

That summary of Complete Unknown may make the film sound scandalous or even exciting...it's not. Instead writer-director Joshua Marston's film devolves into a rather boring piece that perhaps thinks it's important, but really ends up feeling rather pedestrian.  Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon are captivating enough in the first half when there's some unknown tension as the two stare at each other across a room cluing in the audience that something isn't quite kosher.  However, as the second half begins and Alice's truth comes to the surface, it ends up being not all that interesting and the focus on it hurts the film.  This is director Joshua Marston's first English-language film and his eye behind the lens shows promise -- the opening sequence, as an example, sets a slightly creepy tone that the film can't sustain -- but Complete Unknown ends up a disappointment.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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