22 September 2018 | Raven-1969
No Standard Police Fare
Dark matter in the distant reaches of the universe is mysterious and unreachable, but so are certain truths inside of us.
When a young professor is murdered in New Orleans a veteran homicide detective (Patricia Clarkson) tries to unravel the clues leading to the perp. The more she uncovers the more unsettled she becomes, for the case is complex and difficult to crack, and yet eerily familiar. The instincts and companions she once trusted, lead her to dead ends. Little clues to the murder such as a scarf, necklace and music box, are also tied to personal memories. She begins to sense that the answers to the case are inside her as well as around her.
We live in the universe and it lives in us. We are all made of stardust after all. Observation changes the result.
This is no standard police fare, it is much better than that. The female detective relies on being wise and subtle to solve cases, not brawn and force. It took me a while to shift my perspective (expecting to see action, which seems part and parcel to every Hollywood detective story), and I must see the film again to appreciate it more. Patricia Clarkson is perfect for the role and wisely cast. Supporting actors including James Caan, are no afterthoughts. The director at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival world premiere remarked that the main character is looking at other people and missing herself. This is refreshing for a police story. I was delighted by this intelligent and alternative exploration of police work, the nature of the universe and human nature.