Keane

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Year: 2004

Writer & Diretor: Lodge Kerrigan

Budget: $85 000

Gross: $30 303

one of my favorite things to experience as a film lover is that moment of discovery.  when you watch a movie that you don't really know much about (if anything) and you don't have any strong expectations about how good it is going to be, and it turns out to be something really special.  it doesn't happen often, but when it does it is an incredible feeling (wow!  how big a movie geek am i?).  Keane is one such film. 

the film made just over $30 000 in its short theater run, and to be honest, i had never even heard of it till i saw it playing on my movie channel a few days ago.  and yet this is one of the best films i have seen in years. 

i don't know where to begin with this discussion.  Well, actually there is really only one place to start and that is with damian lewis.  what an incredible performance.  lewis plays a man whose daughter was abducted from the port authority bus terminal, an event which broke him down and one that he is still living with every day.  if ever a film deserved to be called a 'character study', Keane is it.

the film is all about lewis' character, william keane.  not only is he on camera for about 99% of the time, but about 80% of that time is spent in medium or close-up framing on the screen.  filmed hand held camera work with no score and what looked like mostly natural light, the film is an intense examination of Keane. i read somewhere, someone refer to the film as dogme-style and it does very much have that feel to it.

director/writer lodge kerrigan has created such an emotionally intense film with the help of lewis's great performance.  the film has very little action, no special effects or big set-pieces and yet i was on the edge of my seat for much of it.  especially the last 10-20 minutes as lewis' Keane seems to possibly be headed down a path i really didn't want to see him go.

i am writting this a day or two after having seen the film and i am still thinking about it and proccessing my reaction to it, and i am sure it will be that way for many more days to come.  simply put, Keane is a great movie.

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