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I stumbled on this movie and was immediately taken in by the chain of events. There are minor flaws, irrelevant characters and plot holes, but rather than focus on any of that, I focused on the story itself. Our family suffered a similar tragedy several years ago, with the accidental death of a toddler. Any sense of "blame" was far overshadowed by the grief. Kids that age quickly learn how to extricate themselves from car-seats, cribs or just supervision in general and tragedy can occur in a matter of seconds. There was one character who was far too under-developed. The goofy, unshaven, pathetic and socially awkward prosecutor with the ridiculous hat was an unsympathetic bully and I vigorously despised him at first sight. We know he has a history relevant to the plot, but we are barely given clarity as to the details. Regardless of that, I eagerly hoped that he would be run out of town by an angry mob; but I got no satisfaction on that one account. In any case, do not expect a fast-moving thriller, but this is well worth the watch and I highly recommend this film to a mature or emotionally developed audience.
My goodness, can a movie get more depressing?!? The heavy, serious mood of the premise was unrelenting--no let-up from beginning to end...this movie was difficult to watch. I have a 6 yr. old, so I really felt the agony and guilt that the father felt for his one tragic mistake. In all honesty, I would have reacted the exact same way that he did--all the way to the end. I'm not going to say more than that so I don't spoil anything. I found it really disturbing that the town (majority at least) turned on him so fast.
Great acting, great cinematography, directing, etc. Everything felt very realistic. The only thing that I can complain about is that there were too many sub-plots, which resulted in some of the characters not being fleshed out enough.
I'm not going to say this was a pleasant movie to watch, but it was a great movie. If you're in the mood for a sad, heartfelt movie, this is for you.
what a tragedy; brings to mind the children who die every summer in locked cars with closed windows while parents shop at the mall.
brilliant screenplay and a stellar cast that keeps you fixated on this intricate and heart wrenching story.
it's painful to watch but your humanity compels you to see it through because many people have experienced a trauma of one degree or another that leaves us with that hollow feeling of inconsolable loss and guilt.
we have all been one of these characters to some degree and the performances by every actor in this outstanding cast shine in their ability to not only draw the viewer into their world but at the same time, activate the emotional synapses that set into motion the process of introspection.
None of the movie was a surprise but a simple depiction of tragedy. The film simply set up the scene, the basics of character, a tragic event to propel the movie There were tons of subplots hinted at and it could easily have gone off course, but it didn't. I thought it was interesting that the film maker made the choice to remind us that everyone has their own baggage in any situation, but that doesn't change the main focus. It really made me think about how quickly the most innocent choice could go wrong so quickly. A bad choice could turn even quicker and children are so quick after they learn to walk! the town sentiments were complex and mixed in with their own personal issues, but it seemed to be a divide between those that had children and those that didn't, but there is plenty of room for differing opinions. Lovely seamless acting by everyone.
Ordinarily in a movie filled with grief, such as this one, there is some teaching moment - something that saves it from the pit of despair. Now I realize that isn't life. Life hands us grief - or, more times than not, we make our own. I does not hand us an 'Ah Ha!' moment. Many times movies try to do that - it doesn't here. It leaves every individual to find their own reason based on the surface look of a mix of characters. In other words - it's filmed grief of flawed individuals that unfortunately produced a child. They are so absorbed by their own flaws that they really fail this child from the moment of conception. Maybe that's the teaching moment. It doesn't matter how much you love something or someone; if you don't pay real attention to anyone besides yourself - you will eventually call it guilt.
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2018
how did we all miss this? this is a full-fledged-American tragedy film so well done it screams for recognition. everyone, yes everyone, connected with this film did their job. the director and the guy with the camera, the sound man and the whole cast had their acting pants on till the finale. heavy clap of the hands to the writer and the financial backers, too. how did we all miss this?
This is a wonderful, heartbreaking sleeper of a film about parenthood, love, relationships, and human frailty. If you like Hollywood movies, you'll hate this film, but if you like European or Indie films, you will probably like this movie. It's beautifully filmed and acted. Everything is understated and low key, but the overall effect of that is very powerful. Hollywood doesn't have any idea how to make a film like this, which is probably just as well. Don't watch it if you're feeling depressed, because it's not upbeat, but it's a powerful, well acted story, and well worth your time to watch it.
This movie surpassed my expectations for it! Maudlin and stirring with deep regret and a heartfelt sadness that is not easily expressed. Piven is a very good actor for a young talent. Having sons, sons who drifted away through traumatic separations make it difficult to watch. Losing someone is a living death though they are alive; still it is like a death when they are out of a person's life. Divorce has made a Nation full of dislocated parents and children. Asking why a thousand times a day doesn't make it any better or different!
A small town a young father Ethan an alcoholic mother Cindy have a three year old toddler Nate, An error on Ethan's part with good intentions results in a tragedy. A local prosecutor haunted by his past pursues Ethan causing confusion and casting of blame which tears apart a town. A fantastic and moving show that will hold onto you with iron grips so I rated this an A grade plus, the actors and storyline are marvellous. Well now time is a wasting and nearly dark so collect the movie for the night with your munchies in hand, time to relax with feet up and watch a fabulous full on entertainment from your own chair. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 starsVery good, quite beautiful. Very well produced. Recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 10, 2015
There is nothing challenging in the dialogue within the screenplay of this film, and the decision seems to have been taken to create a movie of a kind of easy access. It tries to treat a terrible occurrence in everyday lives, in a normal, small town community in those very terms, without making anything sensational.
The film deals with issues which are always relevant to so many people - loss, guilt, coping, addiction and, let me say kind of demonology perhaps in authority - in the most basic terms. Unlike similar kinds of films, this one never thinks it knows, never thinks it has to go beyond the fundamental realities of these situations in order to picture them well. For me, this leaves a lasting impression and means that I can think about these issues actually, much more easily than if I had not seen this film. The core of the film looks in part at society / societies which overtly don't really care about their people, and perhaps more subtly, elements in society which seem to care or say they care, but only superficially. The result is, by the end, a very true seeming, largely negative conclusion on us, our societies and the modern time, which is perhaps lost in elements of the worst of times past, without learning. Does this world regress staunchly, steadfastly, even, before we can know it?
The title in the UK at least, "Abandoned" ("Angels Creek" in North America), seems to point to much more than just the child who goes missing in the opening minutes of the film. Are principles of what is a good life here, abandoned nowadays and how so, to what extents, and who is doing it and why? At the same time, the title word, abandoned, may have a further, questioning, existential meaning in describing the human situation anyway, regardless of time and place - the individual and the strange terrain of the world, whatever it can mean.
That my mind was opened very successfully to issue of life, time and social meaning is a rare occurrence in movies, to me. Usually I find that my mind is vacuumed by the end of a film, whether or not it was said to "deal with" issues or treat issues for discussion or awareness in the audience.
A nice, serious film which seems to present something of real life. Certainly of real life concerns, without patronising, feeling the need to suggest that life is more than life really is, nor getting lost in a fictional world of fantasies that have no real meaning for humans today.
There are twists, and the elements develop which allow the viewer to make conclusions for himself / herself. This then becomes the essence of this movie beyond the lovely cinematography, the latter becoming as an echo the expression of the ongoing, inexplicable beauty in life, a backdrop to the pain, struggles and torture.
Though the script is simple, with no pretensions or irrelevant ambitions, some viewers looking for something else may consider this a weakness in the film. For myself, it is a very strong point in a well crafted piece, from original idea, through very good, simple dramatic acting, to a full, beautiful, simple, understated presentation in the whole production.