Friday, September 14, 2007

TIFF 2007: Reservation Road (U.S.)

Reservation Road (U.S.) directed by Terry George
Friday September 14, 2007

Three words come to mind: vigilante revenge fantasy. Nothing will press the emotional buttons of a parent like the death of child. It conjures up the most intense feelings of fear and anxiety and I think Reservation Road exploits this in a maudlin fashion which is insulting to the viewer.

Ethan Learner (Joaquin Phoenix), a college professor, struggles with the death of his young son Josh after a hit and run accident in a small town in Connecticut. After a short time he comes to learn the identity of the perpetrator, Dwight Arno (Mark Ruffalo), a lawyer and father of a similarly aged boy, whose path continues to cross Ethan's in a series of neverending coincidences that boggle the mind and stretches the credulity of the filmgoer.

Ethan, spurred on by grieving parents in the chatrooms he discovers while searching for a way to find the killer, becomes increasingly enraged by what he perceives as the lack of action on the part of the police and decides to take matters into his own hands much to the dismay of his equally grieved wife Grace (Jennifer Connelly).

They completely lost me right after Josh's little sister Emma Learner (Elle Fanning) asks her mother if music can be heard in heaven and, if so, she will play her piano for her brother. What dreck, and again, what a waste of good actors like Ruffalo and Phoenix, who did more than an adequate job with a horrible, manipulative script.

No comments: