A review of ďThe ForgottenĒ by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: *** 1/2

Rating: PG-13 for violence and language

Run Time: 1 hour, 31 minutes

 

††††††††† Iíve been praying to the movie gods for a smart psychological thriller with a twist.Someone was listening.

††††††††† Julianne Moore gives a slam-dunk performance as Telly Paretta, a committed wife and mother haunted by the death of her nine-year old son Sam from an accidental plane crash over fourteen months ago.Telly canít shake the loss of her tow-headed boy, utilizing therapy and whatever else it takes to dispel the grief.

††††††††† Something seems amiss when Samís photograph disappears from a framed family photograph.Followed by photo album snapshots and cherished home movies.Tellyís frazzled hubby (Anthony Edwards) and her shrink (Gary Sinise) deny Samís existence, insisting that Telly is manufacturing a memory because of post-traumatic stress from a stillborn miscarriage.

††††††††† Is Telly losing her mind or is something more sinister afoot?Refusing to accept Samís death or lack of his being, Telly exposes an ally; ex-New York Rangers right wing Ash Correll (the fabulous Dominic West) whose daughter died in the same accident.

††††††††† You and me against the world.Telly and Ash insist that they arenít delusional, a claim that rings with sinister significance when the National Security Agency comes calling. Repeatedly. A cover-up of Stepford proportions or a pair of loonies looking for love in all the wrong places?

††††††††† The Forgotten is full of surprises, not the least of which is a whip-smart script encompassing fear, pain and periodic laughs. A couple of nasty twists come out of left field; a treat for a jaded someone who imagines sheís seen it all onscreen. Production design is pure NYC grit; the dark nooks and crannies of a malignant city combined with uber-swanky apartments that house potential evil.

Moore gives great face and a genuine heft to the potent energy of the mother-child connection.West is her dramatic equal, incorporating the tragic temperament of a devastated dad with an athletic masculinity.

††††††††† This is a cut above, a well-crafted thriller with a dash of horror and a pinch of the surreal.Good old-fashioned movie fun.