11 May 2013 | perkypops
A painstaking work of art which remains in the memory
Liza Johnson's film is a beautifully etched drama about a soldier's return from a tour of duty. The opening scenes of delight to be reunited with her husband and family are soon forgotten as the story concentrates on how Kelli, the returning soldier, must readjust to her role as mother and wife.
One notable gift Ms Johnson has is her ability to hold a quiet contemplative interlude where Kelli is thoughtful and we are too. Pretty soon we get close to Kelli's mindset and how she works, and through this we get closer to all the other characters in her life. There is a lot of hard work put into many of the scenes in which Linda Cardellini (as Kelli) has to look at herself and others in what has fast become an alien environment. A driving under influence complicates things but then do so many of the events which unfold before us.
The acting of Ms Cardellini is superb throughout playing a flawed character alongside so many others but trying to show her love of her children. Ways of changing her circumstances come and go and we see all sides of Kelli as they do. Michael Shannon is as good as he was in Shelter too.
Not everyone will enjoy this film or even rate it, which is a pity. It is not obviously a film pitched at women, or anyone in particular, but it is a story loaded with emotion, profound arguments, prisms of perspectives, and a lot of thoughtful direction.
I rate it very highly because we can see the hard work the artist has put into this work as we see it hanging in the gallery. One day perhaps it'll get the recognition it deserves. I recommend it.