Red Road (UK, 2006)

red_road_xlgDirected by: Andrea Arnold. This is one of those movies where you don’t know why the characters are acting the way they’re acting for most of the film. For some, this is intolerably frustrating. For others, like myself, this is a source of great intrigue and mystery. Writer/director Andrea Arnold uses this device of unclear character motivation to spur her narrative forward. The protagonist Jackie—an amazing Kate Dickie—is as inscrutable a film character as I’ve ever seen, yet this mystery never feels frustrating to me. Her vague pursuit (to what end?) of the man who wronged her (how?) becomes more and more interesting by the minute. The way that the bare simplicity of the plot unfolds, one tiny little nugget at a time, is utterly refreshing for someone who can’t stand really explicit, obvious, drawn-out and unnatural sounding expository dialogue. This, like Arnold’s other film I’ve seen, Fish Tank, is a tremendously intelligent film in the sense that it respects its viewers enough to sketch out a character, to show us the character, to show us the story itself, and let the story unfold, rather than draw it in with broad black felt pen. Also after seeing Fish Tank, I think I can safely say that Andrea Arnold is the only director I’m aware of who provides consistently original, interesting and challenging leading roles for women today. I am checking her filmography right now.

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One response to “Red Road (UK, 2006)

  1. Pingback: List of Judgements, Anno Domini 2012 | Offhand Reviews·

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