Wednesday, March 15, 2017

' Claire in Motion' DVD: Betsy Brandt Breaks Brave

breaking glass pictures goes all-out indie film character study regarding the April 11, 2017 DVD release of the 2016 drama "Claire in Motion." This tale of Ohio ornithology professor Paul Hunger gone missing compelling portrays the aftermath of this event on the titular grieving (?) spouse/widow(?). Betsy Brandt formerly of "Breaking Bad" and "The Michael J. Fox Show" and currently of "Life in Pieces" shines as this fellow professor.

The following YouTube clip of the "Claire" trailer perfectly conveys the understated trauma and drama that Brandy communicated to a T.


"Claire" commences with Paul going into the woods to practice his relatively new hobby of solo survival trips in which he largely lives off the fat of the land. His failure to return when expected prompts a search. The most probable explanations for the disappearance are that Paul is lost or has fallen and cannot get up (and that that accident may have been fatal.) It is possible that Paul also figuratively went out for a package of cigarettes only to never return or is the victim of foul play. Discovering his car early in the film is a strong indication that something ain't right.

Claire and her tween everykid Connor predictably join the search for Dad and deal with the grief of having a "loved" one gone missing. A scene during this portion of the film is memorable on its own and because it is reminiscent of a scene in the 1999 thriller "The Sixth Sense."

The notable interchange occurs while Claire and Connor are sitting in their car fresh off Connor meeting with a therapist. He tells Mom that the therapist wants him to write a letter to his absent dad in which Connor expresses his feelings about the situation. Claire responds by jokingly reciting the letter as one in which Connor states that he is writing it because the therapist is a naive dolt who does not understand how a boy responds to having his father suddenly disappear and meet an unknown fate. The comparable "Sense" scene has outcast lad Cole spinning a tall tale about being a schoolyard hero while sitting in the car with his Mom. This highly stressed and little respected single parent responds with her own fable of receiving strong praise at work.

Local law enforcement abandoning the search before doing everything that arguably can be done to find Paul is somewhat understandable. The extent to which Claire is fine with this (and the overall situation) is an early indication that her marriage is not made in Heaven.

Claire soon returns to her normal routine only to increasingly learn that Paul is not the man to whom she thinks that she is married. Much of this relates to art graduate student Alison, who is working on a project with Paul and with whom he minimally shares a strong emotional bond. Writers/directors Annie Howell and Lisa Robinson do a good job keeping the audience guessing about the degree to which the Paul/Alison relationship is a cliche.

The overall theme of the reveals is that Paul is deeply unhappy and insecure. He additionally is in the state between love and good bye in which many people in long-term relationships find themselves. Brandt does an excellent job conveying the emotions associated with discovering the true nature of her husband at the same time that she is contending with her feelings of jealousy/resentment toward Alison and the uncertainty regarding the fate of the man to whom she pledged to spend the rest of her life.

The story works because Brandt tells it well and because many of us can relate to the impact of having the most significant person in our life suddenly vanish. Not knowing the fate of that person is very rough, and discovering that he or she has some form of secret life contributes to the angst. This further preys on the fears of us with friends who discover that a spouse finally cleaning out decades worth of junk is part of an exit strategy in which that person announces out of the blue that the relationship is over.

The DVD extras consist of deleted scenes.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Claire" is encouraged to email me. You also can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.