Complete Unknown (2016) was co-written and directed by Joshua Marston. It stars Rachel Weisz as Alice Manning, a beautiful 30-something woman biologist, who manages to make contact with Tom (Michael Shannon) by being invited to his birthday party.Alice and Tom broke up 15 years earlier, and she disappeared. He presumed she was dead. Tom is now married to a lovely Iranian woman, Ramina, played by Azita Ghanizada. The couple live in New York City, but a problem has arisen. Ramina has been invited to attend a very prestigious three-year course in jewelry design on the west coast. Tom is reluctant to leave his job. (Actually, that plot line is more or less filler. The real plot concerns Alice.)Alice has done many things in the interim 15 years. One of the questions in the movie is whether she actually has done these things. Alice is an instant and effective liar, so it's hard to know what she has or hasn't done.The acting in the movie is excellent from the stars to the supporting cast. Look for Kathy Bates and Danny Glover in cameo roles. Condola Rashad plays Sharon, one of the guests at the party. She is the most perceptive person in the movie. She catches on before anyone else does. Azita Ghanizada looks perfect as an intelligent, artistic wife, who cares about her husband, but also cares about her personal development.I enjoyed this movie because of the fine acting overall, and, particularly, because of Rachel Weisz's performance as Alice. The sets, costumes, and general ambiance looked perfect. My discomfort about the movie is due to the fact that everyone is charmed and fascinated by the enigmatic Alice. I think the entire film would crash because you only care about Alice because she's is played by Rachel Weisz. Rachel Weisz is very beautiful, and director Marston and his cinematographer can't stop looking at her. If Alice were unattractive, no one would care about where she had been and what she had done in the past 15 years.We saw this film on the large screen at Rochester's excellent Little Theatre. It will work well enough on the small screen. It's interesting to me that Complete Unknown has a dismal overall IMDb rating of 6.7. However, if you look at the demographics, males gave it a 6.5, while females gave it a 7.3. Because, as is typical for IMDb, the number of male votes is three or four times the number of female votes, the male vote prevails. However, 41% of the voters gave it an 8, 9, or 10. Think about this when you decide whether or not to see this film.
This shape-shifting tale of the perils and pleasures of self-reinvention begins at a dinner party, when Tom's (Michael Shannon) co-worker arrives with an intriguing date named Alice (Rachel Weisz). Tom is convinced he knows her, but she refuses to acknowledge their history. And when Alice makes a hasty exit, Tom sets off after her. What follows is an all-night odyssey shared by two people, one needing to change his life, the other questioning how to stop changing.
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November 9, 2017 at 8:28 am