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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,...

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Movie Review - Meadowland

Meadowland (2015)
Starring Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, John Leguizamo, Elisabeth Moss, Ty Simpkins, and Giovanni Ribisi
Directed by Reed Morano
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

In Meadowland, a typical stop at a gas station convenience store ends in horror when the young son of Sarah and Phil (Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson) is snatched out of the bathroom right under their noses.  Panic sets in and unfortunately over a year later, their boy is still nowhere to be found.  Phil, a police officer, has succumbed to the fact that his son will likely never be returning, while Sarah, a middle school teacher, will not face the possibility that she will never hold her son again.  Unable to really connect with one another, they find other outlets to try and find relief, but relief doesn't equal happiness.

With some wonderfully nuanced performances from Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson (two actors who I must say that I may never have appreciated as much as I did in this film), it's a bit of a shame that about halfway through Meadowland starts to fall apart.  Watching Sarah and Phil's initial devastation is heartbreaking, but as they begin to explore opportunities that give them a little joy, director Reed Morano's film doesn't really know where to go story-wise, ending in such an awkward and unappealing way that a good chunk of the goodwill it harbored in the very good first half is nearly diminished.

This is Morano's first film and there's certainly potential in the young director.  He got two great turns from his two leads and I think the fault lies more in the script (also from a debut screenwriter) than his direction.  While I'd like to recommend it (and the rating below infers a slight recommendation), Meadowland is really only worth watching for Wilde and Wilson -- there are better films about parental grief than this one.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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