Monday, December 11, 2017

Meadowland (2015)

Number Rolled: 31
Movie Name/Year: Meadowland (2015)
Tagline: What if you had nothing left to lose but your mind?
Genre: Drama
Length: 95 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Bron Studios, Itaca Films
Producer: Jason Cloth, Santiago Garcia Galvan, Alex Garcia, Aaron L. Gilbert, Paul Golini, Erika Hampson, Margot Hand, Jennifer Levine, Kelly Morel, G. Scott Paterson, Andrew Pollack, Clifford Rand, Chris Rossi, Lauren Selig, Allan J. Stitt, Matt Tauber, Chris Taylor, Steven Thibault, Olivia Wilde
Director: Reed Morano
Writer: Chris Rossi
Actors: Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Elisabeth Moss, Ty Simpkins, John Leguizamo, Kevin Corrigan, Merritt Wever, Scott Mescudi, Skipp Sudduth, Nick Sandow, Mark Feuerstein, Yolonda Ross, Anna Khaja, Eden Duncan-Smith, Ned Eisenberg, Casey Walker, Justine Torres
Stunt Doubles: None

Blurb from Netflix: After their only child disappears from a service station bathroom, a shattered husband and wife take different dark paths to deal with the grief.

Selina’s Point of View:
The concept of this film is incredibly frightening. However, the story doesn’t follow the actually frightening aspect – the loss of a couple’s child. Instead, the plot is centered around how the couple deals with life after the unthinkable. It’s a different take on the topic.

There were both good and bad aspects of Meadowland.

On the good side, the emotions were instantaneously understandable. The way the film showed the couple attempting to move on while they were still struggling under the surface was brilliant. There are some tragedies that happen in our lives that make us wonder if we will ever smile again… and the truth is that we will – even if we’re just faking it. This movie covers that aspect of grief and life-after-loss very well.

The scenes that get the emotion right, that the actors portrayed well, were heart-wrenching. Those moments made me very sure that it would be a very long time before I forget this film.

For someone like me that watches hundreds of unfamiliar movies per year, that’s a hell of a feat. There are some movies in Trust the Dice’s records that I could not, for the life of me, tell you anything about. I just don’t remember watching them at all. Meadowland won’t be one of those.

Mainly because I’m going to be paranoid as hell with my daughter in corresponding situations now.

On the bad side, there were aspects of the film that felt incomplete or like they didn’t quite fit what was happening. For instance, the ending. I get what the writer and director were trying to portray… but it fell flat. It just kind of felt like a cop-out.

I expected part of the ending, but the rest of it was symbolic crap that made very little impression.

This movie would have received a much higher score from me if they had just done something a little more definite and less pretentious for the ending. In fact, it was that ending that made one of the characters of the film little more than a plot device, when that character could have been so much more.

If there’s an alternate ending out there, I’d watch this film again. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

Cat’s Point of View:
When I read the blurb for this movie, I cringed. I was fully expecting a gut-punch to happen any minute.

The reason why is simple: this film centers around an event that dwells among every parent’s worst nightmares.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve simply looked away for a split-second in a store and turned back to find my child not where I saw her last. It’s an adrenaline rush of the worst kind as your heart begins to race and chills creep along your spine in the flash of a second. Thankfully, the reason for sudden disappearance was something simple and she reappeared again an aisle over, or hiding underneath a clothing rack. Funnily enough, sometimes she’d just wandered directly behind me so while she wasn’t where I expected her, she was there when I turned around.

I get a knot in my stomach just thinking about what it would be like for the worst to happen.

I’m not sure how I would cope with the loss of my child. As someone who has fought depression off and on for a good deal of my life, I can imagine it wouldn’t be a pretty sight. As a result, I found myself less judgmental, perhaps, of Olivia Wilde’s (House, Rush, Her) character, Sarah.

The impact of the movie’s events was significant, and yet I think the blow was softened somewhat by the meandering pace the film took. Some of it made sense and other points just had me tipping my head and questioning ‘why.’

I didn’t like the ending, though. In a way, I see how it was fitting as a scene. Unfortunately, that was a really strange note to end the film on.

I don’t think I would willingly watch this one again, but it’s mostly due to the subject matter. I don’t feel that the movie was bad; though, I would have to say it was generally unremarkable. Even with that said, I will likely be glued to my child in public for a while.

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 57%
Metascore - 67/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.0/10
IMDB Score – 5.8/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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