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Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Writer's Life 3/18 - Complete Unknown

Ever wish you were someone else? The main character of Complete Unknown (2016) takes it to a startling degree, changing identity nine times over a period of 16 years. I watched it last night courtesy of Netflix. It's a role perfect for an actress as gifted as Rachel Weisz, who is not reluctant to work in low budget productions such as this. The woman's latest incarnation has her working as a biologist studying frogs. Obviously someone of a genius IQ, she has been a surgeon as well as a magician's assistant, and traveled to exotic locations. Alas, even someone who lives such a life must get lonely, which leads her to wangle her way into the birthday party of her college lover, who is now married. He recognizes her immediately. Eventually, they separate from the pack and hit the streets of Manhattan, revealing a lot about themselves. The pace is slow. Fortunately, the running time is only 91 minutes. The storyline is grounded. It doesn't take a Hollywood turn into violence. Its most surprising aspect is the complete lack of sex, although it is obvious the two had something strong in the past. Michael Shannon does his usual fine work as the ex. The film is for those who want something different. It's the type that would probably appeal most to actors and writers, although emotions are largely repressed. 2900+ users at IMDb have rated it, forging to a consensus of 5.4 of ten, which I think is too low. I'm not saying this is a good movie, but it is an interesting one. Joshua Marston directed, his first stint at the helm of a full length big screen feature since 2004's Maria Full of Grace, the compelling tale of a drug mule. He did 15 TV shows in between. He co-wrote the screenplay with Julian Sheppard, whose career has just begun. I give them credit for daring to do something different and low key. If it's a failure, it's good one. Kathy Bates and Danny Glover appear briefly as a married couple, lending much needed pizazz to the proceedings. I was unfamiliar with the rest of the cast. As far as the title goes, I immediately thought of Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, although the track is not used. Perhaps it refers to the inner self all human beings have and rarely share.

My thanks to the middle aged woman who purchased Iris Jonhanssen's Firestorm, the only sale of a day when the threat of precipitation was constant.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
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