Canadian Film Fest 2019: Our Review of ‘Nowhere’

Posted in Canadian Film Fest 2019, Festival Coverage, Movies by - March 22, 2019
Canadian Film Fest 2019: Our Review of ‘Nowhere’

Director Thomas Michael’s Nowhere, said to be inspired by true events, tells the story of mother Claire (Kate Drummond) and daughter Sarah (Nell Verlaque) who relocate from Chicago to a small, rural town. After Sarah makes the high school basketball team, she joins her new teammates for a party and promptly goes missing. What follows is Claire’s frantic search for her daughter, while being harassed by the locals who don’t want to see the champion basketball squad tarnished.

This is a pretty solid film. Drummond is fabulous. Her agony at not knowing what happened to her daughter is palpable, and she sells panic, as well as the line between hope and hopelessness very well. While Verlaque is adequate, she doesn’t get all that much to do. The other standout is Rya Kihlstetd as “Coach” Simmons. She brings a bravado and empathetic intensity that elevates the film.

We’ve seen this movie before, most recently in last year’s Searching. Nowhere shares so many parallels with that film that it feels wholly unoriginal, and I had to look up if Searching was also inspired by a true story (under the assumption that it was based on the same event). It wasn’t. Perhaps it’s a simple coincidence in the vein of Deep Impact/Armageddon, or White House Down/Olympus has Fallen.

The film does fall into some common traps; there are a few rather cheesy dialogue callbacks, and the final line of the movie felt very much out of place. Further, there is some nearly moustache-twirling villainous monologuing, which felt a little lazy.

Overall though, Nowhere is a tense little thriller, bolstered by strong performances, and a fairly tight story that occasionally meanders somewhat, but generally stays true to its intentions.

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