.

The Clearing

Robert Redford, Willem Dafoe, Helen Mirren

Directed by Pieter Jan Brugge
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
July 2, 2004

Kidnap dramas hold few surprises. As a mystery man (Willem Dafoe) snatches fat-cat executive Wayne Hayes (Robert Redford) from the Pittsburgh mansion he shares with his wife, Eileen (Helen Mirren), you wait for the plot gears to grind in the timeworn thriller manner.

That they do. The pleasures of this endeavor, directed with a keen eye for detail by Pieter Jan Brugge, come from what the actors bring to the material. Dafoe adds a note of vulnerability to the menace he has made his stock in trade. And Mirren, who can do more with a glance than most actresses could do with pages of dialogue, etches a moving portrait of a loving wife bruised by sexual betrayal. The big news is Redford, who gives a performance of quiet, riveting intensity as the adulterous husband forced to examine his life and his feelings as his captor drags him through the woods to a hiding place that seems forever out of reach. These are the psychological underpinnings that put The Clearing on solid ground.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Love Is the Answer”

    Utopia | 1977

    The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com