Where Are You?
The title of this film poses a question that I started asking myself after the first 45 minutes of confusion. I didn’t get a very satisfactory answer from the movie itself. For me, I ended up wanting the answer to the titular question to be “anywhere but here,” before it was half over. Sadly, instead I was still on my couch, watching this film.
From what I can tell, Where Are You? is perhaps a slightly longer version of a 2019 film, Now Is Everything. That previous film played the Torino Film Festival that year. The two have different IMDb pages despite the same cast and credits which seems odd. Scenes from the trailer of Now Is Everything are straight out of this newer film, but if they were hoping some slight differences and a name change would improve things, I’m not sure it’s helped much.
Nicolas (Irakli Kvirikadze) is a photographer who is having a bit of a creative block. His art has spawned a successful coffee table book, which brings with it recognition and fame, but since then his clients haven’t been happy with his work. He’s been struggling, his creativity drained. Much of this comes out in an interview with a journalist (Christopher Ashman) where, between questions, we see flashbacks of his life.
Seems a fairly ambiguous film so far. And certainly for the first half of this movie there is little clarity. There’s also very minimal plot at all besides from Nicolas losing his one close friend in a surfing accident. Oh, and he also has some dalliances with model-types who all look very similar so its difficult to tell them apart.
There is finally a glimmer of hope for a sensical storyline with some actual movement. Nicolas’ girlfriend and muse Matilda (Camille Crowe – a relative bright spot in the film) goes missing. He receives a phone call from a stranger that sends him on a mission to find her. However, any hope is quickly dashed. The film’s synopsis claims this is a “fever dream-like journey in search of his girlfriend” but that instead seems to be code, or at least an excuse, for ‘supreme lack of cohesion’.
There are some beautiful shots in Where Are You? courtesy of accomplished cinematographer Dante Spinotti. He has 82 credits to his name including The Last of the Mohicans and L.A Confidential. He also happens to be the father of writer-director Ricardo Spinotti who shares those credits with wife Valentina De Amicis for this film. The problem is that all these scenes are strung together in a way that seems inept instead of artistic. The whole film plays like a trailer, with short tidbits flashing back and forth through time and different places trying to create an atmosphere and story that just never finds any sort of grounding.
The filmmakers also included family friend Anthony Hopkins. The film marketing places him understandably front and centre. But he appears on the screen for only about five minutes of its approximately 90 minute run time. I’m unsure truly what his purpose is except to provide some contemplative voice over and recognizable star power. In his one 3 minute and 26 second scene mid-film he certainly overshadows his fellow actors, though it’s not enough to salvage the frames. I hope his favour is repaid.
“It’s all a beautiful confusion,” states a line in the film. And while the character is talking about art, it seems more like this film’s main agenda – a confusing calamity that attempts to look good. Where Are You? Is neither terribly artistic nor profound enough to excuse its clumsiness.
- Rated: NR
- Genre: Mystery, Thriller
- Release Date: 10/21/2022
- Directed by: Riccardo Spinotti, Valentina de Amicis
- Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Camille Crowe, Christopher Ashman, Irakli Kvirikadze
- Produced by: Dante Spinotti, Heather Kritzer, Kyle Stroud, Markus Bishop-Hill, Rocco Bovo, Stephanie Rennie
- Written by: Matt Handy, Riccardo Spinotti, Valentina de Amicis
- Studio: Carte Blanche