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  • This film was heart wrenching but beautiful.

    It's a look at the story of how a couple cope with the loss of their son, and the pernicious effects of grief over time. The title itself, Meadowland, seems to be the mental land where the suffering protagonists go to escape, the dream land that exists to maintain the last shreds of hope in the face of overwhelming pain.

    It makes an excellent job of conveying the gradual deterioration of the ability to cope with not knowing, not being able to say goodbye and the juxtaposition of the need for closure with the incredible fear of accepting the inevitable.

    It's brilliantly acted and well scripted. The pace is slow but filled with mounting intensity. The film holds its breath, never spilling into melodrama, but holding in an enormous sense of tension and conflict, thus creating a direct line of empathy for the situation of the main characters.

    But it's not all doom and gloom, well it is all doom and gloom, but it examines that darkness at the place from which it emanates; love.

    Poetic and sincere.
  • The film isn't anything that we haven't seen before, but it's still a rather effective experience. Olivia Wilde previously impressed everyone in Drinking Buddies when she showed us all what fools we were for doubting her talent. Here, she once again steps to the challenge and delivers an earnest, sincere, raw performance. I think she's a actress who does really great with portraying misery and sadness, and she can do wonders with her face. Luke Wilson is also impressive, but has less to do and Wilde is the ultimate shining star here. The film as a whole could've used some more work in its script, nothing too memorable, but definitely a solid film. Also, hey Elisabeth Moss appears.
  • I suppose the reason most movies are so instantly forgettable is because, like the popcorn we shovel into our mouths distractedly while watching them, most movies are just bland, uninspiring, and only temporarily filling. They take few risks, break no new ground, and therefore leave us as we were when we entered the theater: hungry for something more substantial and memorable. Well, much admired cinematographer Reed Morano's first turn in the Director's chair, the haunting, visceral and formula shattering "Meadowland," which I caught at the Tribeca Film Festival last weekend, is simply unforgettable and searing. It burns its way into your memory, taking you on an ever-escalating trip through the unraveling of the world of parents unable to get any closure over a missing child who vanishes without a trace or clue, leaving the parents frozen in the time of the disappearance, immobilized yet stumbling through the mundane as they spend their days in a daze of incomplete, inchoate grief.

    How do you mourn someone who is not dead but simply unaccounted for? In the hands of a less sensitive and brave director and cast, such a story would, at various times, turn melodramatic or maudlin, but Morano and her superb cast, led by Olivia Wilde, stay with the pace at which life honestly moves when grief is the gnawing feeling you wake up with every day. You live, but your life is lifeless, and every day their son stays missing is a little less a day for hope. Wilde gets progressively gaunt and hollowed with the passage of time, and she delivers a disciplined performance of aching realism, never giving in to the temptation to play Sarah broadly or with hand-wringing sympathy. Sarah's husband Phil, played by Luke Wilson in the equally defining role of his film career, is similarly staggered by his son's disappearance but falls down the rabbit hole of loss by a somewhat different route. While Sarah goes from lithium to lethargy, Phil goes for support from a group that includes John Leguizamo, superbly cast against his usual type, but Phil misunderstands the nature of support and loses a friend as he tries to take a shortcut in the twelve steps to rehabilitation. Wilson's eyes rarely show signs of the life he had before his son went missing; even when he is dealing with a domestic dispute with potentially explosive consequences, he seems bored by the banality of daily life even as he urges Sarah to accept the reality of their loss.

    Morano clearly loves the actors with whom she works and gets career-defining performances from most of them, especially her two leads. Her dual role as cinematographer never seems to burden her. In fact, it may help to have the person actually behind the camera stand behind her actors. Her visuals are remarkably, even almost shockingly, bright and clear, from Sarah's yellow hoodie she wears when prowling the crowded city streets looking for her son to the clouds that hover over an otherwise dreary landscape of loss. Morano is a force to be reckoned with, and Meadowland is a film that celebrates her skills for story telling and her knack for getting the most out of her stars. Wilde and Wilson have never been better, but one senses Meadowland is just the beginning of even richer and deeper roles for both of them for a very long time. Meadowland is not without problems. The script tends to wander in the third act as if, like Sarah and Phil as they stumble through the fog of grief, not everyone is sure where things are ultimately headed. And let's be clear: this is not a subject matter that begs to be seen in a multiplex on a feel-good night out. But if film is indeed a window into our true selves, then Meadowland succeeds on every level because Morano, Wilde and Wilson are brave enough to tell a story without artifice and resolution. Much as we know, when we are truly honest with ourselves, that we have to live our lives without a story arc with a clear beginning, middle, and end, Meadowland honors the courage it takes just to keep living, especially when those who were so important that they were the center of those lives, cannot.
  • One of our few female Cinematographers Reed Morano steps behind the camera in a different way to make her directorial debut on "Meadowland," written by Chris Rossi in his screen writing debut. Starring Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson, the film tells the story of Sarah and Phil, a couple who suffer an unimaginable loss and deal with the grief, loss, and hope in two completely different ways. Phil's own moral compass is challenged while Sarah begins to deteriorate, falling deeper into herself and losing all hopes of coming back. "Meadowland" is a methodical and at times very compelling film that presents an intimate portrait of grief and hopelessness.

    Reed Morano hawks back to similar feels of films like "Shame," capturing a long shot within a New York street or "Half Nelson," deconstructing the mind of a struggling educator with a student in need of their own guidance. Morano frames the film spectacularly, as you could expect no less from the woman who shot "Kill Your Darlings" and "Frozen River." She appeals to our sensibilities as humans, and puts forth authentic reactions and behaviors of two human beings that can't imagine a world that their presently abound. That's also thanks to the palpable tension and drama set by scribe Rossi. These are two of the strongest debuts by a writer and director team seen in quite some time.

    Challenging Jessica Biel ("Bleeding Heart") as our Hollywood hot girl taking on an indie film and knocking it out of the park at Tribeca, Olivia Wilde is electrifying. Standing out in her own way in films like "Her" and "Rush," Wilde finds her niche, accurately portraying a mother on the verge of breaking down but desperately searching for something to keep her afloat. Wilde delivers her finest acting performance of her career yet and is simply astonishing. There's so much that Wilde reveals in subtle moments of silence, whether its watching "Wheel of Fortune," or observing a boy struggling to make friends, she keeps things bubbled to the brim without spilling over. A tremendous and extraordinary actress has emerged.

    In one of his most serious and heartbreaking roles, Luke Wilson surprises as the effective Paul. He internalizes much of the grief that lives within his veins and in certain moments, unleashes them but not in the stereotypical bombastic manner in which you'd expect. It's a real and intelligent portrayal, devoid of happy endings and clichéd heroism.

    John Leguizamo is taking on an indie market again and its fantastic to see. Building even more excitement for a career post-Mad Men, Elisabeth Moss is superb in a brief role that should have been expanded beyond what was given. Returning to his roots, Giovanni Ribisi excelled in smaller films until Seth MacFarlane got his claws on him for TV and "Ted" (which admittedly he's hilarious in). As Tim, Paul's drug-recovering brother, Ribisi begins to revive the talents that made him so amazing in his early years of his career. In smaller roles, Mark Feuerstein, Merritt Wever, and Juno Temple all get their moment.

    "Meadowland" is a fascinating piece, sometimes subtle in the way it presents its material, other times bombastic all leading to a finale that speaks multiple volumes about our own innocence. It's a film that will hopefully find a home with someone caring enough to nurture it into the right audiences.
  • It's a year since Sarah (Olivia Wilde) and Philip (Luke Wilson) lost their son Jessie who disappeared after going to a gas station bathroom. She's a teacher in NYC and he's a policeman. She becomes obsessed with the outcast special-needs student Adam and his foster parents (Elisabeth Moss, Kevin Corrigan). Philip's screw-up brother Tim (Giovanni Ribisi) is staying with them. Philip is going to a support group. Sarah insists that Jessie is alive and is spiraling downwards.

    Olivia Wilde delivers a quietly devastating performance. Her obsession with Adam is compelling. Philip deserves to have someone to concentrate his lost on just like Sarah. He seems to have a scattering of characters to interact with. He's a cop which should be easy for him to fixate on one victim. His side of the story isn't as compelling. This is Wilde's movie and she delivers.
  • This film tells the story of a married couple, whose young son disappeared in a petrol station, right under their noses. They react and grief in very different ways.

    The name "Meadowland" doesn't reveal anything away, so the plot remains a secret to be revealed. As the plot unfolds, the vastly diverging journeys of the two adults become very gripping and engaging. What they have to go through is devastating, and I do feel for them. The mother's denial and maladaptive coping is so heart wrenchingly played by Olivia Wilde. She is the true star of the film. The ending is very effective and communicates without words. I'm moved by this story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Those who didn't like the ending, or said it left them hanging, just didn't get it.

    First off, I think the movie was, most importantly, REAL. It was how real people, in the real world cope, not Hollywood people, or how Hollywood THINKS real people would. The real world is ugly, dirty, and selfish, but can also be beautiful, innocent, and full of wonder if you look at all of it and don't just focus on the negative. Its about a couple falling apart and doing things they normally would not do. With her the cutting, having sex with a stranger, smoking DMT, and listening to metal. Him, using his pull as a cop to find his meeting friend's daughter's killer's address. The loser brother-in-law whose life is a mess (doesn't everyone family have someone like this?).

    As for the ending, she promised to take him to Africa to see the elephants, but instead actually ends up finding him an elephant! And by doing so, she looks into the elephant's eyes and realizes that she lost her baby too. They lock eyes in mutual pain, loss, grieving, understanding. In that moment, she is able to connect with another mother who understands what it is like to lose a child. So he has his meetings, she got an elephant. What more do you want from an ending? Want to see if they let her adopt the kid? If she went back to teaching? She still is going to need a LOT of work, either years of therapy or group, an elephant can't fix broken. But anyway, who cares? That would be the boring part. May as well leave it on a high note.
  • Meadowlands is outstanding on many levels. It had a risk of being unbalanced and overly melodramatic or otherwise missing the point of the reality of what the film -through the writer- intended to convey which was the story of people who do go through this reality. While it had flaws if you looked hard for them, what stood out was what could be attributed to the direction, sound score, cinematic filming, and balanced overall presentation of the story. The actors all did what really talented actors can do. It was a very well done and worth seeing film. (Well, need more lines to submit review.) Regarding two things worth mentioning, The camera work was with a very fast lens and the ending scene was outstanding in how it brought the story to a conclusion.
  • This film is a good reminder for me to not follow film ratings alone as an indicator of quality when deciding whether or not to watch something.

    I'd put this in my Netflix queue and when it came and I sat down to watch I was dismayed by early occurrences. Surely I hadn't decided to order this . . . this genre . . .

    I visited the critiques here, was discouraged by the 5.2 rating but trusted the intelligence I encountered here in the reviews and went back and saw that, yes, this IS a good film.

    The editing . . . the single shot of Phil where we see for the first time, on the left side of the screen his attire and suddenly know his profession, and at the same time on the right side of the screen, reflected in the car's windshield, what is on the dashboard. In a second, an instant, we know so much more about Phil.

    The music is just right and enhances each mood.

    It's a well crafted film.

    It is very sad.

    And it is very good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The movie did a great job in hitting the main conflict trigger so early at the start point. And after that we get to see the devastating effects of how non-reconciled loss can lead to turmoil little by little. In it we get to see superb acting done by Olivia Wilde and quite a balanced job by Luke Wilson. The other cast members also helped much in keeping the mood constant all the way through. Ty Simpkins did well in depicting the Adam's symptoms. Giovanni Ribisi succeeded in creating a character that's complicating things up, while John Leguizamo, Elisabeth Moss and Kevin Corrigan also put up well in their parts. Yet the movie seems so much lacking in the story development, as we see Phil and Sarah repeat things up so very often without any significant twist or turn. This makes the ending to be a disappointment as it's really something one predicted even from the movie's start.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If there was one movie in this world that deserves a 0 rating, it would be this one.

    The plot revolves around Olivia Wilde's obsession with kidnapping a boy with Asperger's syndrome, but the viewer will find it hard to decide if the boy's symptoms are worse than the director's.

    The movie highlights that those with Asperger often engage in repetitive behaviors. Unfortunately, if the movie was a person, it would also have Asperger.

    The movie was a nonstop loop of of unbearable repetitive behaviors. The boy throws the ball against the wall. Luke Wilson sitting in his car. Olivia Wilde sleeping.

    OK. THE AUDIENCE GETS THE POINT. There's no reason to drag on the movie continuously as if we all had dementia. The director should probably find a new job. A corporate desk job would be perfectly suitable for someone so obsessed with repetitive boring motions.

    I saw a homeless person this morning who asked me for money for food for her baby. Instead of giving her the money, I went to see this movie. In hindsight, I regret this very much.

    If the director and producers of this movie ever read this review. I plead that you donate the proceeds of the movie ticket sales to help feed the homeless.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think it would be, at least...

    The movie is pretty much flawless, thanks to a wonderful work of Reed Morano in her directional debut and to the writer, also a debut, Chris Rossi, that delivered that beautiful and sad story.

    A good director can save a shitty cast... A wonderful cast can't work with a lousy director. Don't know why i wrote that, 'cause there's nothing to do with the movie! Maybe, I was preparing my queue to say that the cast was also brilliant.

    Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribsi, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Moss, Juno Temple... The boy... Ty Simpkins... This boy is everywhere! From blockbusters to smaller movies... Literally, he's in the biggest Box Office of the year and in the one of year's most praised movies by the critics. Still, I think he needs do more, play more parts, before he can be called a great actor.

    As I was saying, with that amazing cast, the movie could have at least more ten minutes. Leguizamo and Ribsi... Man I love them... They are that guys who do an awesome work in comedy... You recognize them, you recognize the signature, is good, you love it... Then, they do a drama, and you are like "How is that possible? How can they be that funny and be also so great in that drama?". It goes to Luke Wilson also. I don't think he is funny at all, but he is more then the guy in Legally Blond... And the rest of the cast... One scene with Elizabeth Moss, a great scene... One with Juno Temple, also a very good scene... BUT, after all, was a movie about Olivia's and Luke's character. The focus were in that couple that passed through grief in its on terms. Man that movie hurts sometimes.

    Allow me to make a comparison. We have Reed's Meadowland (2015), on the red corner, and John Cameron Mitchell's "Rabbit Hole" (2010), in the blue corner. Both movies are about a couple trying to deal with the loss of a son. Meadowland has 105 minutes, including credits, while Rabbit Hole has 91, also with credits. Still, I feel like Rabbit Hole is the longest movie that I've ever watched in my life. AND I WATCHED THE EXTENDED LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY IN ONE WEEKEND! Rabbit is a sad movie and most of the time you just have to look away 'cause you are sick of it! Meadowland is a completely different story. I mean, the story is very alike, still is a different story, but what I meant was that "This is not the case with 'Meadowland'".

    Meadowland is a sadistic voyeurism. You watch that couple "deal" with their loss, you watch'em "try" to move on, you watch'em hurt 'emselves and each other, you watch they grow apart, you watch Phil receiving alone the news about his son's death, while Sarah is f*cking the foster-father of the boy who she's obsessed with. AND TRY TO GO WITH THE KID TO AFRIKA! MAN THAT IT HEAVY STUFF... And still you're not able to blink, or even breathe sometimes through the movie, 'cause you don't want to loose anything.

    And it is over.

    You want more, but the story came to its end. You had the start, the development and the end. It came in a straight line, a clear path, but all you can think is "... man, I wouldn't mind to know a little bit more of the rest of the characters, as Tim or Alma, or Even Joe and Shannon..." But this movie is about Sarah and Phil, and in that case, mission accomplished.

    As an epitome, "Meadowland" has the greatest performances of from the two protagonists, and a perfect debut from the director and writer.
  • wolfcolonel-5556031 October 2015
    Olivia Wilde's performance is astonishing and has haunted me; compelling me to write this review two week after seeing the film. Luke Wilson and the rest of the cast also put in sterling performances, but it's Olivia's character that feels painfully authentic as you watch her deterioration.

    The movie is a concise study of loss and as a result is relentless in its depiction of grief; probably not a great choice for a fun movie night with friends... Reed Morano does however inject love and beauty into the proceedings with thoughtful cinematography and a stirring soundtrack.
  • This movie makes me feel humble and in reverence. The subject of the story about a missing child is very delicately portrayed. Definitely not a popcornmovie nor is it a sentimental tearjerker. It is as real as it gets...

    The story is about a couple who have lost their child and for months on end are at loss over the uncertaintity about the whereabouts of their child.

    Meadowland is a real rough diamant, wrapped in breathtaking grief though, so only watch it if you are up for a lot of repressed and twisted emotions.

    Meadowland is dedicated to the late father of the director. Is it the personal loss of the director's father that made this movie so heartwrenchingly beautiful? "Meadowland" really comes across as a personal tale of grief...

    Meadowland easily found its way to my heart, because besides the grief there is healing to be found as well. And the healing part of the movie struck me as an uplifting, almost magical experience. For that reason I do want to recommend this picture very much...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I would have given this move 1 star, but I didn't want to be as cruel as the writer and director of this movie were to anyone who chose to watch this movie. Meadowland is boring, slow and unrealistic. I kept watching thinking this movie can't be this bad, the cast includes some really good actors, so I kept watching hoping it would get better, it didn't. The only interesting part was when Olivia Wilde's character is on the roof getting high with her brother-in-law, and she walks towards the ledge. I was thinking ok, good, she is about to jump to her death, finally some excitement, but alas, she doesn't jump. This is how boring this movie is! This is how much you won't care about these characters! Instead of them doing everything in their power to find their child, which is what any normal parent would do, these two just fall apart and are completely useless. I don't care if it's been a year, you never give up, you never stop fighting to find your kid. I ended up hating them both for their weaknesses. She spent way too much time doing dumb, unproductive, useless stuff. and hanging out with a child that was not hers, which would never have been allowed in the real world. Luke Wilson's character set Cops back 30 years by being portrayed as a crooked cop who would give the address of the man who was guilty of vehicular manslaughter, (for killing the daughter of one of his bereavement buddies), to the girl's father so he could get revenge. What the....! Really?! This movie was just an incredible waste of time, don't do it, you will be very disappointed.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Henry David Thoreau wrote of people who lead "lives of quiet desperation." This film is a literal enactment of Thoreau's words.

    "Meadowland" tells the harrowing story of parents who have lost a child. In an unremarkable stop at a gas station, Sarah and Phil wait for their son to come out of the bathroom. But he has decided to use the back door and go off exploring. But the child never comes back. The film moves forward to a year after the disappearance with the parents struggling with their grief and anxiety.

    The intensity of the emotional anguish registers in every moment of the film, as Sarah and Phil attempt to carry on their lives as an English teacher and a police officer. The film explores the phenomenon of displacement as Sarah becomes overly involved with a student at her elementary school and Phil loses his boundaries when getting the address of the drunken driver for a member of his support group. In their own ways, Sarah and Phil are lost souls.

    The film is successful in developing compassion for people who are suffering emotional trauma. The realistic details are astounding, especially with Tim, the soft-spoken brother of Phil, who always seems to be searching for words. One of the best scenes in the film occurs on the apartment rooftop where Tim shares his dope with Sarah and recognizes that she has made an attempt on her life. He cannot find anything to say to comfort her, but the empathy registers on his face and in his body language. This and other scenes tell the poignant story of lives of quiet desperation and the battles that humans are fighting inside that are often unknown to the insensitive outside world.
  • If your feeling down in the dumps or there's a gloomy cloud hovering over your head then Meadowland is not the film you'll be wanting to watch, actually it's about as far away as what'd you'd want to be watching as you could imagine as one time D.O.P turned feature length director Reed Morano's film is one of the most dour films to come around in quite some time.

    The dour nature that imbeds itself into almost every single scene of this sometimes heart rendering bleak tale of grief, loss and heartache may be too much for some to bare but it's also in many ways Morano's greatest achievement, even though it doesn't make for typically entertaining viewing.

    Given a meatier role than she's normally afforded, Olivia Wilde does a commendable job as the lost mother of a missing boy Sarah and alongside the well casted if under used Luke Wilson as her equally lost husband Phil the two actors give Meadowland their all and tackle the hard subject matter with aplomb even though we're sadly as an audience never truly aloud into their characters inner sanctum which hurts the films overall emotional gut punches.

    Morano, as is the case with most first time directors, unfortunately fails to properly engage the audience into the films overall heart and soul and characters like Giovanni Ribisi's underused Tim and the odd appearance of Juno Temple's seductress like Mackenzie seem like missed opportunities while Sarah's odd feelings towards mentally handicapped school student Adam never really ring true especially towards the films last act and the film is undoubtedly at its strongest when the narrative focus's more intently on the plight of Sarah and Phil as they consider what may've become of their lost son and how they deal with the pain alongside each other.

    Sometimes powerful, often frustrating and always from the get go grey cloud gloomy, Meadowland is an impressive first up effort by Morano and features committed turns by the normally misused Olivia Wilde and sometimes auto piloted Luke Wilson that make it a film worthy of your time as long as you're willing to go along with its depressive nature.

    3 stale car snacks out of 5
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The movie ending left you hanging, as in, is that all?, that alone deserves knocking off a 1/2 point, then take into consideration how squirly Olivia Wildes's character became and the fact she was unfaithful to her movie role husband played by Luke Wilson.

    Here comes the part where everything that needs to be said has been said, but IMDb has their stupid rule of 10 lines minimum.

    No 1 and I mean know 1 in regards for cinemagraphic art would have rated this movie higher than a 5.

    Sad thing is that even though Olivia Wilde is not an experienced movie producer judging from the garbage I have seen put out by those who are tells me it would not have made a difference.

    If as it is said that manure runs down hill poorly written (Screen Writers), or poorly directed, character roles portrayals are all reflections of a poorly produced movie.
  • debejere13 August 2019
    The show broke my heart. You would have to be a robot if it didn't break yours. The acting was awesome. The ending was awful. Left everything so disconnected. Dang it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Meadowland" is a film by first-time director Reed Morano, a cinematographer by trade, responsible in part for such notable indies as "Frozen River." Morano has fashioned a deeply atmospheric tale from a screenplay by first time feature writer, Chris Rossi, chronicling the downward spiral of a husband and wife whose child is kidnapped by a pedophile (similar to the true-life Etan Patz case).

    The story begins in a harrowing scene where the couple stops at a gas station in upstate New York with their young son in the back seat. The kid goes to the bathroom and doesn't come out—when the father opens the door, he discovers his son has vanished. We then flash forward a year later and the child is still missing and the parents, Sarah and Phil (played most intensely and convincingly by Oliva Wilde and Luke Wilson), are coping from the fallout of the overwhelming tragedy in their lives.

    The great strength of the film (and perhaps also its greatest weakness), is that the focus is on the internal arcs of the principals (as opposed to the conflict between the two). When we first meet Sarah, an elementary school teacher, she's on lithium and has convinced herself that her son is still alive. Phil, a NYC police officer, castigates his wife for denying reality (as it's becoming more apparent, due to a police investigation of a pedophile under surveillance upstate who may be implicated in the abduction, that the little boy is never coming home).

    In one of the strongest scenes in the film, Sarah goes looking for an animal cracker that her son was eating on the day he disappeared, and finds it wedged in a crack in the back seat of their car. Attempting to reconnect with her son in any way, she ravenously wolfs the cracker down, satiating herself for a moment despite the grief that never goes away.

    The plot eventually focuses on Sarah's obsession with Adam, a young student at her school, who has Asperger's Syndrome. The child is treated poorly by her foster parents—Sarah follows the mother in one scene and helps her out with money after she's unable to pay for groceries at a convenience store. I'm not exactly sure where that plot strand was leading—later on, after throwing out her medications, Sarah has a manic episode where she ends up having sex with the boy's father (again I suppose, indicative of her downward spiral).

    Meanwhile Phil appears at first to getting himself together by attending a support group for parents of murdered children. But like Sarah, he is not immune to the deleterious effects of the tragedy that has impinged upon his life. In a subtle scene, he kicks over a roadside memorial to a deceased father—his way of "coping" is lashing out (as opposed to Sarah's self-destructiveness). Later Phil inappropriately provides one of his fellow support group members with the address of the drunken driver who killed his daughter. It's obvious that Phil has lost his moral compass despite the fact that he's supposed to uphold the law as a law enforcement officer (a public servant).

    Morano's camera work as well as her direction prove that she's an extremely talented filmmaker to be reckoned with in the future. Meadowland's problem is Rossi's uneven script which lacks a great deal of conflict and rising tension. Instead, the focus is on just how low these characters can sink as they cope with the immediate reality of their missing child. Little is added by a subplot involving a visit by Phil's unstable brother Tim, who Sarah and Phil put up in their apartment, while he is attempting to get his life together.

    I won't reveal the ending entirely but suffice it to say there is a measure of redemption for Sarah involving an elephant, a class of mammal that Adam, the young Asperger's child, has shown great affection for earlier on (Sarah's self-obsession at the denouement with her concomitant lack of attention to Adam, remains a disturbing scene). Phil perhaps gains his measure of redemption when the police investigation into their child's disappearance, is resolved.

    Meadowland is primarily recommended for the intense, tragic atmosphere it invokes. The lack of a true, discernible plot and focus exclusively on the principals' internal arcs, are its Achilles heels.