26 January 2007 | wsterr-1
Your Best Mosher Interpretation So Far
My wife and I watched a copy of "Disappearances" this evening. We both enjoyed it very much! We had both read the novel about a year ago and so were familiar with the Mosher story. This very expansive and in some ways too fanciful novel (the cloned abbot in the monastery comes to mind) was very enjoyable, but we think Craven did a fine job of translating it to the screen without having to include every aspect of the original text.
All performances were well done. Especially fine was the work of Gary Farmer (Henry) and Charlie McDermott (Wild Bill). Kris Kristofferson (Quebec Bill) was better in the latter part of the film, but (and perhaps this was intentional) was more caricaturish early on. He became more of a real character later as his situation became more serious. The smaller parts by William Sanderson and Bill Raymond were also enjoyable. The parts by Genevieve Bujold and Lothaire Bluteau were more problematic, both seeming lackluster in comparison to the others. The only real disappointment was Luis Guzman, whose part as Brother Hilliare was so reduced as to be inconsequential.
We feel an excellent job was done of handling what could have been expensive special effects by implying, without showing, such things as the train wreck. Too much emphasis is placed on graphic representation in today's films, when suggestion can be just as, or in some cases, more effective (as in special effects that don't work!).
If we have a serious objection to the film, it is the confusion that is generated in the earlier part caused by including many varied elements of the book without some sort of unifying dialog (perhaps a voice-over by an adult version of Wild Bill would help). This problem is relieved later in the film, but by that time a portion of the audience may be lost.
Our congratulations on a fine cinematic experience that deserves wide distribution.
We have also seen Craven's two previous Mosher adaptations, and consider this to be his best! One more thing kudos to the cinematographer for the beauty of the production! Outside of our own Northwest, the Vermont Kingdom County is one of the most beautiful parts of our beautiful nation.