Uncertainty Scott McGehee and David Siegel

Uncertainty Scott McGehee and David Siegel
Uncertainty is a film about making decisions and dealing with the consequences. It employs a neat narrative structure that sees a couple through two parallel realities over the course of one July 4th in NYC.

The story begins with Bobby (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Kate (Lynn Collins) standing on a bridge spanning Brooklyn and Manhattan, trying to decide what to do. In one direction lies a day of family obligation at Kate’s parents’ holiday party, while the other offers the couple a day of freedom roaming the city. The film follows both courses of action, inter-cutting the unfolding of two very different stories.

In one, we see how family pressure and expectations weigh on Kate and put a strain on her relationship with Bobby. This story is quietly compelling, introducing complex family dynamics through naturalistic dialogue and intimate camera work.

The other story evolves in an action-adventure heist direction after Bobby finds a cell phone in the back of a cab and while trying to return it, finds that people are willing to kill or pay a lot of money for the lost item. This one puts the couple in high pressure situations, though some of their initial decisions seem incongruous to the characters but are necessary to drive the plot to its most dramatic heights.

Co-directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel (Bee Season) deftly maintain tension in both realities while highlighting the common elements that eventually lead the two paths back towards convergence. Ultimately, it’s the relationship between Kate and Bobby that is the focus of the film, with all the decisions they have to make in both scenarios serving as tests of their commitment to each other and practice for a larger decision the couple are avoiding.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt does well as Bobby, playing him as perpetually out of his element but dedicated to making things right. Lynn Collins’ Kate is amazing; she gives a raw and honest performance that is striking in any reality. (Kino)