As I said in my blog on Jamie Thraves debut film I have been looking forward to seeing more films by this promising British director. The Cry of the Owl (2009) is certainly different from his other two feature films, The Low Down (2000) and his latest Treacle Jr. (2010). Firstly it is a thriller and has been filmed in and around the Greater Toronto area in Canada; his other two feature films were made in the UK. Secondly it’s a British, Canadian, French and German co-production in conjunction with BBC Films, where as the director had to remortgaged his own home to make his latest movie!
Based on a Patricia Highsmith book of the same name with a screenplay written by Thraves. It tells the story of Robert Forrester who is going through divorce proceedings. This has a profound effect on his mental well being and he starts to spy on a girl living in an isolated house in the country. She appears to have everything Robert requires from life: happiness and contentment. One evening the girl, Jenny Thierolf, catches him in her garden and from then on she take’s control of the situation, ending her relationship with her longtime boyfriend Greg, believing that meeting Robert is an act of fate. Jenny makes advances to Robert but because of his mental state he feels unprepared to start a new relationship and rejects her advances. The disappearance of Jenny's fiancé Greg after a fight with Robert marks the beginning of a series of dangerous and ultimately fatal incidents.
The film stars the American actress Julia Stiles (Silver Linings Playbook 2012) as Jenny Thierolf and our very own Paddy Considine as Robert Forrester. Considine is one of these actors that you will not see in a bad movie. He started his acting career in Shane Meadows breakout film A Room for Romeo Brass (1999). Recently appearing in Blitz (2011) and Submarine (2010) and winning a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut Director for Tyrannosaur (2012).
|Julia Stiles and Paddy Considine.|
Although this went almost straight to video I found it to be a very intriguing thriller with a good and interesting story that demonstrates how a sequence of actions, once started, are impossible to stop and eventually lead to tragedy. A slow and deliberate piece of work that deserved much better distribution.