Not all that shines is gold
In 1960s NY, crime-writer-by-night Walter Stackhouse (Patrick Wilson) is a successful, wealthy architect married to the beautiful, but emotionally damaged Clara (Jessica Biel) who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his obsession with an unsolved murder tangles him in a web of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overly ambitious detective, while simultaneously lusting after another woman.
Adapted by the 1960s suburban thriller, “The Blunderer,” written by Patricia Highsmith, this dark and atmospheric slow burn presents a very creepy narrative. Layered with puzzling mystery and strange twists, its first and second acts are the ones that hold down this noir-like film. Alongside a quasi-disjointed third, its cast (including supporters: Vincent Karthheiser, Haley Bennet and Eddie Marsan) holds this piece together. Jessica Biel is a pleasant sight, but felt a little forced during segments that called for emotional distress, while Patrick Wilson on the other hand was decent. The guy can carry a film. He’s not cringing to watch or hear, and flows easily scene after scene.
As a mood-setter, the film’s strengths shine most as it continuously picks your brain with its “murder suspect” game it plays from start to finish. Feeling like a Hitchcock piece every now-and-then, A KIND OF MURDER has its ups and downs, but one of the most interesting narratives I’ve seen during the festival so far.
Grade: C+ / Genre: Thriller, Mystery / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:35
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Jessica Biel, Vincent Karthheiser, Haley Bennett, Eddie Marsan
Directed by: Andy Goddard