The Clearing

A very beautiful, quiet and tiny picture about a handful of people who either love each other or betray each other or kidnap each other, as they see fit. Robert Redford plays a wealthy suburbanite taken hostage by Willem Dafoe, who’s lost his job and just wants to get ahead in the world in the traditional American way: by using small arms. Helen Mirren plays Redford’s wife the way God plays billiards: perfectly. The story and script occasionally become a little sappy, but the strength of the performances, the careful sound mix and the densely saturated photography all make this as enchanting as a jar full of fireflies.

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