DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

MEADOWLAND (director: Reed Morano; screenwriter: Chris Rossi; cinematographer: Reed Morano; editor: Madeleine Gavin; music: Adam Taylor; cast:  Olivia Wilde (Sarah), Luke Wilson (Phil), Giovanni Ribisi (Tim), Elisabeth Moss (Shannon), Ty Simpkins (Adam), John Leguizamo (Pete), Kevin Corrigan (Joe), Merritt Wever (Kelly), Scott Mescudi (Jason), Mark Feuerstein (Rob), Juno Temple (Mackenzie); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Olivia Wilde, Margot Hand, Matt Tauber, Aaron L. Gilbert; Tribeca Film Festival; 2015)

"A solid effort."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An uneven in spots but emotionally interesting missing child drama helmed by first-timer Reed Morano, a longtime cinematographer. Writer Chris Rossi wrote the clichéd script, the weakest part of the film. The screenplay explores how the pained couple shows their grief over the loss and begin to unravel, with the female director less interested in the story than in studying the characters for their emotional reactions.

Max, the young son of regular guy cop Luke Wilson and his grade-school teacher wife Olivia Wilde, goes to the rest room at a gas station and vanishes. The shock leaves the parents permanently grief-stricken. Wilde becomes detached, while Luke withdraws.

The acting is potent. The visuals have an immediacy, as shot by a handheld camera. The trauma is realistic, and the couple are sympathetic. It's a solid effort, that reminded me of Rabbit Hole (2010).

REVIEWED ON 3/4/2016       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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