Keane Lodge Kerrigan

Just as I had just given up hope of seeing a substantial American movie ever again, along came this indie stunner that shames the rest of its country’s output. Keane (Damian Lewis) is introduced to us while looking for his abducted daughter but as we see his substance abuse and mental instability, we begin to doubt he ever had a daughter to begin with. Living off the grid and on social assistance, he’s a man with no visible support system; he’s largely alone, completely helpless and unable to hold a job or sustain a relationship. When a woman (Amy Ryan) and her daughter (Abigail Breslin) find themselves living in the same motel, he strikes up a friendship and a fixation on the daughter. Writer-director Lodge Kerrigan once again trains his camera on the margins of society and renders the unhinged protagonist with immense sensitivity; I can’t think of another American director who would draw such a compassionate portrait of someone damned to be a non-person forgotten by society. It sketches his anguish and confusion without flinching — the audience has no alternative but to ride inside his point of view and it’s a harrowing and heartbreaking journey. This is the direction where film on this continent should be moving, and that the film got the bum’s rush in theatrical release should tell you everything you need to know about the state of film culture in the 21st century. The disc includes two versions: the director’s cut and the cut of producer Steven Soderbergh. The latter of which is smoother but less jarring than the former. In whatever version, it’s essential viewing, not to be missed. (Warner)