Uncertainty Scott McGehee and David Siegel

Uncertainty Scott McGehee and David Siegel
I suppose it would be unintentionally ironic to fault a film about existential angst and uncertainty for being aimless and partly pointless, as that, in its essence, is the point, right? And long-time collaborators Scott McGehee and David Siegel do a pretty good job of clarifying that there are no guarantees, and that playing the "what if?" game will just leave you running around in circles, quite literally. It just feels like a synopsised version of a better film that they intended to make, but didn't. I mean, The Deep End, their previous outing, starring Tilda Swinton as a woman willing to do anything to protect her gay son, was tight, specific and impressive, whereas Uncertainty is simply intriguing, with more moments of adequacy than intensity. It does feature magnetic performances from both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins, as a young couple grappling with the unknown future and the possibility of bringing a baby into the world. Flipping a coin on the Brooklyn Bridge, the pair take off in different directions, into different possible realities, as represented by green and yellow throughout the film. In the world of green, the couple trek out to Kate's (Collins) family home for a BBQ, finding a stray dog along the way. Unsure of whether to reveal Kate's pregnancy, they discuss possible family reactions, the inevitability of becoming their parents and the nature of what is right. This storyline suffers from the template of the film, which was tightly scripted, but left the dialogue up to the actors. As mentioned, Collins and Gordon-Levitt are comfortable with each other and never fall into improvisational traps, but everyone else at the BBQ does, save Olivia Thirlby. More compelling is the yellow trajectory, where the pair find a Trio in the backseat of a cab and wind up in the middle of a high stakes chase throughout Chinatown, simultaneously running from and blackmailing a thug named Dimitri. The undisturbed location shooting and in-the-moment action gives some much-needed vitality to the abundance of metaphysical rumblings about what might or could be. The DVD includes some audition footage, along with script to scene comparisons. (E1)