Out Of Nowhere: Our Review of ‘Touched’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - November 18, 2018
Out Of Nowhere: Our Review of ‘Touched’

Supporting independent cinema is just an important thing to do…and when it’s Canadian…so much the better.

Touched is a slight but poignant little psychological drama with some genre elements sprinkled in which is a clear cut example of how you can really do great things with only the bare minimum.

A young woman (Lola Flanery) disappears from her building and her solitary landlord (Hugh Thompson) becomes obsessed with tracking her down. The landlord’s search for his missing tenant sends him on a strange adventure. Guided by a little girl; who may be the vanished tenant as a child, odd things begin to happen and the landlord struggles to figure out what’s real. The child’s kindness may be his only source of light and hope, but she is also leading him down a rabbit hole… and he may not be able to see his tenant or the surface again.

This film could easily be the text book definition of doing more with less because Touched is just an exceptionally well assembled piece of cinema about the psychological nuanced of grief and loss that deserves as large of an audience as it can get, as it never hits us over the head with a blunt object trying to get the point across and treats its audience like intelligent human beings.

The debut feature from writer/director Karl R Hearne, Touched has a self assured nature about itself that we don’t often see in debut features.  He keeps the surroundings sparse but well shot as the film has a strong visual feel about itself diving us into something that is potentially mysterious and supernatural but is obviously grounded in something so much more real.  Characters are flawed, but they’re supposed to be which is how Hearne lets this all play out on a very humanistic and even compassionate level.  Sure it’s got a couple of moments in the script that levels us scratching our heads, but that’s OK because he has swung the doors of interpretation and what our lead character is going through wide open and that really gets hammered home thanks to a fantastic leading man performance.

Career character actor Hugh Thompson really brings a level of unvarnished humanity to his role as Gabriel the landlord.  We acknowledge that Gabriel is a little different, ‘touched’ in the head as it were but it’s played with such subtle nuance and grace that it’s actually something that will take you by surprise.  His character straddles a line between right, ill and maybe even dangerous at times but we always resonate with his sympathy and how ultimately relatable this broken man truly is on very many levels.  Lola Flanery is great opposite Thompson as we are consistently left wondering if she’s going to be his undoing or his ultimate salvation.  These are characters that are looking for purpose and in a very unique way they both managed to find it in ways that we really wouldn’t have expected.

At the end of the day, Touched is one of those no budget, diamond in the rough kind of movies because everyone involved in this one, deserves a chance to keep doing more.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
Comments are closed.