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UPDATE Dec 2010:
I only realized after a couple of minutes that I had seen it before, and only after re-considering it I read the old notes I took upon me first seeing it. Back then, I was (I think today) surprisingly critical. I liked it much more today, maybe in particular because I like Casey Affleck even more today than I did back then. The plot still suffers from a “Zodiac”ish problem reality often brings about: there is no clear resolution when you need it (which is after a short period of time and at the end of a dramatic build-up). Some kidnappers get away, only to be punished the later and harder in a ruthless scene reminding of “Seven”, and some kidnappers even get away with being morally superior, leaving Casey Affleck’s character with the most ungrateful and complicated decision a film character had to face in a long time.

Original entry:
Two private Investigators get the job to follow up on the police investigation of a child abduction. The aunt has hired them, the police does not like it, the parents are useless. Investigating the case, the PIs Patrick and Angela discover that the story has reported to the police has been a fabrication, but instead of this clarifying the case, they find themselves entangled in more and more investigation thicket.
I like Casey Affleck, his face and voice have a certain fragility to them, which here – again – suits his role perfectly well. He is not the elbowy thug-like PI, he is the nice guy from next door who is just asking questions, and everybody is surprised to learn that “next door” in this neighbourhood means that he can get as rough as he needs to.

The construction of the film is a bit over-done, I think: several options are given to the audience along the way, similar to the simulations in a CSI episode. There is no way of getting involved in the riddle, you are merely observing other people’s considerations. So when the case nears its resolution, it comes as yet another option, and not as a really surprising one. At that point, a certain indifference to the plot line has developed.

Acting is strong, though, and the Boston atmosphere is pleasantly blunt (is this a Boston film location renaissance: Fringe on tv, this film, what next?). Altogether a quite pleasant experience, with plot and structure flaw.

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