Based on Martin Amis novel Night Train, this poignant mix of crime movie and drama is the new creation by surprising director Carol Morley whose passion for eerie stories and female characters already emerged with her previous The Falling.
Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson) is investigating on the mysterious death of an astrophysicist (Mamie Gummer). Her research will soon try to get deeper into her work relationship but most of all in her family, led by an authoritarian former war veteran (James Caan). All of this, then, will serve to bring some light to Mike’s own past, marked by a terrible personal tragedy.
Some echoes of Chinatown linger across this story which becomes soon a reflection on the human condition and how love and affections can be spoiled or can ruin people who want to take them alive. The parallel with astrophysical elements is innovative and well-explored and leaves you with a bittersweet sensation as long as part of this drama develops.
Patricia Clarkson simply delivers one of her best performances. Probably one of the most underestimated actresses of American cinema, she delivers her character Mike, annihilating her own natural charisma but transforming her trademark grasping voice in a key element to describe the pain and the sense of loneliness which she feels. It is always good to see James Caan in some powerful and creepy roles but the small part of Jacki Weaver as his humiliated wife is paramount in understanding the dynamics of a poisoned marriage.
In the cast also Broadway star Aaron Tveit as “What’s up?” agent Tony Silvero.
Out of Blue is more than a study on characters than a crime novel where death, lingering from the past to the present, is a sad memento on how our decisions will affect us forever.