The Lookout Scott Frank

The Lookout Scott Frank
According to star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, The Lookout was the hardest job he ever had (which after Mysterious Skin, seems almost impossible). For a year he prepared for a role where his character had forgotten mostly everything due to a car crash that left him a semi-amnesiac. It’s becoming a habit for Gordon-Levitt, the acting master class he continues to give with each of his performances. As Chris Pratt, he portrays a young man with a debilitating condition fighting to regain his old life. He lives with Lewis (Jeff Daniels), a brash, sardonic blind man and goes through his daily motions trying to lead a normal existence. As a janitor for a small town Kansas bank though, Chris is also an unsuspecting pawn in a planned heist imagined by a former schoolmate (Matthew Goode) looking to take advantage of our vulnerable hero. He invites Chris into his world and begins to hatch his scheme, leaving Chris unsure of his actions. As it unfolds, director Frank is careful to advance the film patiently (think Memento), much like how Chris lives his life. While The Lookout builds to its climax steadily, there is plenty of tension to deliver its knockout ending without falling back on a clichéd twist. DoP Alar Kivilo raises the bar with his artful vision, using remarkable light and dark contrasts, as well as slow panning shots that help convey the slow life of the protagonist. Unfortunately, the commentary with Frank and Kivilo is heavy on the technical aspects, making it a difficult watch for anyone not studying cinematography or film theory. Two featurettes unlock the inspiration of the film, examining the complexities of its characters and explaining just how long it took to bring it to screen, as well as focussing both on the joy and pain of shooting in rural Winnipeg. (Alliance Atlantis)