Missing (2008 DVD)
Directed by Costa-Gavras
In English and Spanish with English subtitles
Bad acting and a soap opera-like storyline mar what should have been a riveting film about the real life murder of American journalist Charles Horman during the coup in Chile in 1973. John Sheah and Sissy Spacek are basically either annoying or unbelievable in their roles as the young husband and wife who became separated as a result of the military's "mopping up" operations after the coup, a major distraction since the movie's message about the US government's complicity in both the coup and in the cover-up of Horman's death is often powerful and provocative. Jack Lemmon puts in a much more credible performance as Horman's father, a man with wealth and connections who comes down to Chile to try to figure out what might have led to his son's disappearance, but even he's saddled with some seriously creaky dialogue and a director who seems to prefer histrionics to emotional subtlety--a shame since the constant gunfire in the background and the shots of bodies lying bloodied and dead in the streets offer compelling audiovisual witness to just how powerful this movie could have been. (http://www.criterion.com/)
Sunburn: Laura Lippman
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