Film Review: ‘Strange Weather’

Holly Hunter and Carrie Coon star in this slow burning indie flick that explores the permanence of loss.

Written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann, this film was made to tell the kind of stories about women that need to be on screen. Either a rare character on screen or disappointingly underwritten, Dieckmann fleshes out a volatile, passionate, vibrant woman for us to devour with our eyes.

In this female driven film, Darcy, portrayed by Academy Award winner Holly Hunter (The Piano), is slightly older than middle-aged, sexy, dynamic, flawed and deeply sorrowed. Her love interest, played by the wonderful Kim Coates (FX’s Sons of Anarchy), takes the back seat, offering support, presenting himself as the committed party in the relationship and, essentially, occupying the role that would traditionally be played by a woman.

Yet Darcy is the center of gravity in this film. Her grief uncurls on the drive to the university where she endeavours to finish her BA in English, it flattens with a drink of whiskey and a cigarette, it burns when she gets behind the wheel and starts driving. When Byrd, Darcy’s neighbor and friend played by Carrie Coon (Gone Girl, HBO’s The Leftovers), mentions the name Mark Wright, a thread unravels. Darcy picks at that loose thread and pulls.

After the loss of her son, Darcy is desperate for understanding. We follow her, tugging at the thread as it gets caught around a bend, or—as in Darcy’s case—stopped by roadworks and rerouted. Slow burning, intensely mystifying, our hearts go out to Darcy, who bubbles with vivacity and is wounded irrevocably by her son’s death.

Unable to accept the murky details that surround her son’s memory in life and in death, she embarks down the dusty roads of the South, winding through hurricane struck New Orleans, and, ultimately to the man who saw her son last. She trembles and fights for composure. She is steel and brittle glass. It is a testament to Holly Hunter’s on screen presence that commands the screen, the eye. Her performance is powerful, well thought and it is a fantastic addition to her teeming list.

Strange Weather opens in theaters and will be available VOD and on digital platforms on July 28th.

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