Keane

"OK"

Keane Review


This intense little item from independent cinematographer-turned-filmmaker Lodge Kerrigan (Clean, Shaven; Claire Dolan) is an exercise in grit. For 90 minutes, this intense character study literally follows around a mourning father, William Keane (Damian Lewis), who tortures himself by wandering around New York City's Port Authority bus terminal and the bleakest neighborhoods of New Jersey searching in vain for his abducted daughter. A miserable slab of what was once a human being, Keane is a wandering bitter pill who endlessly talks to himself about what he should have done, what he ought to do, and how he can find his daughter.

One admires Kerrigan's rigorous cinematic technique, which stays perched on Keane's face or right over his shoulder for most of the film's running time. It's a "you are there" aesthetic that demands the viewer identify with the camera's subject. Perhaps influenced by British filmmaker Alan Clarke (who used similar tactics to brilliant effect following around skinhead Tim Roth in Made in Britain and football hooligan Gary Oldman in The Firm), Kerrigan manages to make Keane bracing, compelling, and mostly watchable even as you realize the character is on a long, slow, tortured journey to nowhere.

What's frustrating with Keane, as with Kerrigan's previous efforts, is that this filmmaker takes a long, grueling ride around the block and never really manages to illuminate the human condition. It's that brand of indie cinema we call "miserable-ism", plumbed by Neil LaBute and Todd Solondz, where nothing ever works out. Human beings live in boxes of misery and cannot find their way out. In a way, it creates a willful ignorance of hope and desire. Kerrigan almost breaks through the net by adding two characters: a single mother (Amy Ryan) and her quiet, introspective child (Abigail Breslin, whose scenes with Lewis are terrific). The long, sad sequences of Keane befriending the mom and kid in their dreary hotel room open up Keane's world, slightly. They're photographed with enormous sensitivity and well acted; they also create the possibility of more.

Unfortunately, much like Clean, Shaven, Kerrigan doesn't really know where to go with this third act development. While one appreciates the canny ambivalence of Keane's final scene, taking place in Port Authority and involving Keane's to-be-revealed master plan, the movie leaves no taste in the mouth. Neither bad nor good, but simply compelling, Keane is further proof that Kerrigan is on his way towards being one of our great auteurs but, like his hero, he has not yet found his way through.

Reviewed as part of the 42nd New York Film Festival.



Keane

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st September 2005

Distributed by: Magnolia

Production compaines: Canary Films, Populist Pictures, Serene 9, Studio Fierberg, Section Eight Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 49 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as William Keane, as Kira Bedik, as Lynn Bedik

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.