Proof Review: Uncertainty (2009)

Release Date
November 13, 2009
Director
Scott McGehee
David Siegel
Screenplay
Scott McGehee
David Siegel
Distributed By
IFC Films
Drama, Romance, Thriller
Not Rated
101 minutes

Uncertainty

Joseph Gordon-Levitt exceeds expectations in this low key dramatic performance. Based around the simple concept of flipping a coin to resolve their uncertainty on which side of the Brooklyn Bridge to spend their Fourth Of July, Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins live out the two resulting scenarios simultaneously. The first leads them to a quiet afternoon with Kate’s (Collins) family, doused in a color scheme of green to keep the corresponding occurrences visually distinguishable. The second situation, represented with a yellow shaded color scheme, sends the couple on the run from dangerous businessmen following the discovery of a mysterious cell phone in a taxi cab. From the start, we are privy to the fact that there is much more to their unresolved indecision than choosing a holiday destination. Kate is pregnant and neither Kate, nor Bobby (Gordon-Levitt) have any insight as to where their priorities lie.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has transcended the days of his 3rd Rock From The Sun performances and even the quirky, fidgeter that he became known for in 10 Things I Hate About You and Angels In The Outfield. Gordon-Levitt has grown into a man, and with that comes this tremendous actor worthy of award nominations, able to go from carrying small films like Uncertainty, to fitting perfectly into the big box office blockbuster Inception.

Lynn Collins proves herself meaningful in the leading actress role. Having never taken charge in any previous roles, she comes off as a new starlet, when she has actually appeared in everything from 50 First Dates to The Number 23. In Uncertainty, she takes the role of ambivalent expecting mother and runs with it (at some points in the film, quite literally). The version of the day spent with Kate’s family is Collins’ acting playground, showcasing her character. It is there that she succeeds in expressing the appropriate confliction with her own mother breathing down her neck about her uncertain future and with her sister (Olivia Thirlby) wanting to follow in her footsteps.

The visuals of Uncertainty are completely striking and apparent throughout the entire film. The color schemes are a nice touch in today’s age of glossing over with such equivocal design. The tone of Uncertainty matches the somber tint of the film. Not only are colors vibrant in the film, but the shots themselves speak loudly. Take any still from the film and it will be cinematic, proving the importance of each individual shot.

Uncertainty never quite comes off big time but still carries the Indy time feel auspiciously. The inclusion of Joseph Gordon-Levitt creates a higher caliber experience and ultimately makes the film worth more than most Indy films that lack star power. Though Uncertainty leaves you without concrete answers, uncovering the character’s intentions by the conclusion of the film is rather straightforward. Take a chance with Scott McGehee & David Siegel’s first directorial endeavor in over five years (Bee Season being the last in 2005).

 

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