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9.01.2016

The Complete Unknown

A good, simple, low budget movie.  Compelling story, if somewhat sparsely told, about a woman who changes lives every two years or so, adapting an entirely new career, contacts, persona.  She left her original life w/out a trace, never explaining to any of her family or loved ones what happened to her or where she went.  (She went to some place in Mexico).  It's filmed primarily in an apartment and the surrounding neighborhood.

Couldn't tell if the movie was interested in telling a story or more so simply exploring the conceit of a person changing lives over and over and over again.  By that I mean that her back story (what motivated her to leave her original life; did some kind of psychosis compel her to constantly up and leave to a new locale, or perhaps childhood trauma?) could have been explored much more fully.  I honestly could not discern any original motive at all.
Not entirely convinced that she could have done it either--created all of those lives.  Kind of had disdain for the implicit ease with which she transfers from life to life, creating new careers--things that can take people a lifetime to develop, that some people can never really attain, she does so quite easily and then throws away.  A sickening decadence, and reflects some upper middle class attitude about everything, all possibilities being at your fingertips.  It's all about you and what you can achieve!!!

As for the casting, Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon really carried this movie.  Several others (including Danny Glover!) had much smaller roles.  Shannon has tons of close up scenes where he looks perplexed and then speaks very little.  He may have actually stolen the movie.  Weisz is good, too, however.  A good choice for the lead role.

A lot of people were laughing out loud in the movie, leading me to think at one point that it was deliberately a comedy.

Have been noticing lots more movies coming out where women play the lead characters, and in some instances almost entirely carry the movie: Wild, Morgan, Complete Unknown, Joy, Brooklyn, The Shallows, The Meddler.  We're living in a new, enlightened age after all.

Or maybe anyway.  In some respects.


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