The Cry of the Owl
Directed by Jamie Thraves. Starring Paddy Considine, Julia Stiles, James Gilbert, Caroline Dhavernas, Gord Rand. (2009, R, 100 min.)
REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., March 19, 2010
This mood-heavy Canadian/German co-production, based on the 1962 Patricia Highsmith novel, contemplates what happens to a stalker when the object of his obsession returns the favor. Reeling from a rocky divorce, the emotionally ragged Robert Forrester (Considine) moves out of the big city (an unspecified Toronto) and into the country – presumably for the peace and quiet. There, he begins to frequent the front yard of a mystery woman (played by Stiles), watching her through the window. One day she spies him spying her, and from there, the two throw themselves into a supercharged relationship that starts out twisted and tries on varying sizes of derangement throughout, none a particularly good fit. Considine – a UK actor who's usually great (In America, My Summer of Love) – rubs the Midlands out of his accent so vigorously he winds up tone-deaf and textureless. British writer/director Thraves' film suffers from the same flat, even fraudulent feeling. The Ontario countryside is lovely to look at, though.