gives neuroscientists fits like amnesia thrillers. They basically come in two
speeds. Most of the films will devote much of their set-up to meticulous
psychotherapy, but the third act inevitably down-shifts into a restorative bash
to the noggin. Unfortunately, this beleaguered man with memory loss will not be
receiving any of the former in Michael Polish’s Amnesiac (trailer
opens tomorrow in Los Angeles.
unnamed man has a lovely wife, but her bedside manner is a little off.
Apparently, she is a veterinarian, but that only partially explains it. He
doesn’t really know what her problem is or what her name might be. However, he
can still pick up on her bad vibes. She seems darned determined to start a new
family, but the man has a feeling they already have a perfectly good daughter—or
at least they did before the accident that put him in the position. He has a
bad feeling about what happened that fateful day, but we expect the truth will
be even worse.
Amnesiac will never make anyone
forget about Spellbound (a tough film
to top, since Hitchcock and Dali will not be working on anymore collaborations
anytime soon), it still manages to put a few new spins on the amnesia thriller,
all made possible by one of the laziest cops you will ever find outside of New
Jersey. It becomes more of a cat-and-mouse game than a psycho-babbling
psychological thriller, but it has a potent trump cards stashed up its sleeve.
Amnesiac is worlds removed
from Polish’s underrated Big Sur,
which also co-starred his future wife, Kate Bosworth. Although it was written
by screenwriters Amy Kolquist and Mike Le, Amnesiac
seems like a strange project for a happily married couple to take on, but
at least it gives Bosworth the opportunity to channel her inner early 1950s
Bette Davis with a severely chilly lead performance. She sort of hits the same
note over and over again, but it is an impressive note. Poor Wes Bentley just
gets the living stuffing kicked out of him as the unnamed man, but he sells the
big revelations relatively well.
is a strangely disconcerting film that appears
to exist outside of time thanks to the way Polish blends 1950s imagery with
more contemporary trappings. Yet, somehow it seems to work in the context of
the film. It is a nice bit of noir film making, but it is the sort of film the
head appreciates more (for the ways it successfully plays the viewer) than the
heart. Distinctive in its way, Amnesiac is
recommended for psycho-captive
thriller fans when it opens tomorrow (8/14) at the Arena Cinema in Los Angeles
and also launches on iTunes.
Labels: Kate Bosworth, Michael Polish, Psychological Thrillers