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The Clearing Review

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Wayne and Eileen are rudely awoken from their American dream when an ordinary Joe takes successful business man Wayne hostage. Wayne must negotiate himself out of the situation and Eileen secure his release. As the ordeal goes on the couple find a deeper connection exists between them.

★★★★★

How the hell did this thoughtful kidnap melodrama head straight to video? After all, The Clearing has a hell of a cast - Robert Redford as the hostage, Willem Dafoe as the kidnapper, Helen Mirren as the put-upon wife - while debut director Pieter Jan Brugge uses shifting timeframes, and that sure-footed star trio, to heighten the emotional impact of what would otherwise be a very slight story.

Once Brugge learns to pace a movie beyond sluggish - The Clearing seems much longer than its 91 minutes - he could be one to watch.

Once Brugge learns to pace a movie beyond sluggish - The Clearing seems much longer than its 91 minutes - he could be one to watch.

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