Clearing, The
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1 1/2

This suspense drama is the story of an aging couple, Wayne (Robert Redford) and Eileen (Helen Mirren) Hayes, who have done well financially. They have a beautiful home and two lovely, grown children. While they love each other, their feelings are not as passionate as they once were. Wayne is a disciplined man who works hard and is good with people. When he does not come home one night for dinner, Eileen is at first annoyed and then concerned. She calls the FBI, and soon her life is turned upside down as they probe into her private life in order to find her husband. She is forced to examine their marriage and Waynes past indiscretions, which is uncomfortable for her. Wayne has been kidnapped by a man (Willem Dafoe) from his past whom he barely remembers and is marched through the woods. As the two walk, they begin to understand one another and both reflect upon their lives. Wayne cannot imagine what lies ahead for him.

Lacking drama and suspense, the plot is simple and moves at a slow pace. A man is kidnapped, and his wife with the help of the FBI try to find him. There is no real message, either good or bad. The film keeps moving from present to past and then to the present again with little warning. A good line in the film is this: If you love me, then I have everything that I need. A refreshing aspect of the film is the portrayal of a couple who has kept their marriage together despite the difficulties that have come during their years together. As R-rated films go, this one is pretty mild, earning its rating for eight occurrences of bad language including two instances of the f-word and the s-word and three instances of strong profanity. If you are a Robert Redford fan and can tolerate some brief bad language, you may want to see this one. Preview however cannot recommend it due to the language.

Preview Reviewer: Alan Boyer
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Crude Language: Once mild (hell 1)
Obscene Language: Few (4) times strong (f-word 2, s-word 2)
Profanity: Few (3) times strong (GD 3)
Violence: Several times mild (man falls and hits his head, man is forced into car by a man with a gun); moderate (two men fight and struggle with one choking the other till he passes out)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Few times mild (woman shown in bathtub but is not exposed, woman in two-piece bathing suit shown briefly)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Several times mild (cigarette smoking and brief alcohol use)
Other: None
Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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