Keane Review

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Schizophrenic William Keane (Lewis) is distraught over the loss of his daughter, wasting his days hunting for her and buying her presents she’ll never receive. He finds an outlet for his affections when he meets Lynn (Ryan) and her daughter Kira (Breslin)


It’s not an easy job for any actor to be the only notable character in a movie. But it’s an even tougher job when that actor is virtually the only thing you can see for the bulk of the film and the only people he has any dialogue with are the voices inside his head.

But Damian Lewis acts with such conviction and believability as a man suffering from schizophrenia that is either the cause of his losing touch with his daughter (who may not even exist) or the result, that he makes it almost possible to forget that there’s actually very little going on in much of Lodge Kerrigan’s movie. For the first hour we’re just watching William, in almost constant, unsettlingly extreme close-up, bumbling around his dismal world pining for, or in one case screaming at cars for, his lost child.

Fortunately, as interesting character study risks tailing off into well-acted but slightly dull indulgence, William meets Kira (the prodigiously able Abigail Breslin), who is as much in search of a proper parent as he is of a daughter. The twists and turns their relationship takes are, on the whole, fairly mundane, but are tinged with a constant mix of longing and menace. Is William looking for a child substitute or something more sinister? There is no clean final-reel resolution, but the abrupt final scene is full of both heartbreak and relief.

Persevere through the sluggish first two acts and you’ll be rewarded with a touching relationship perfectly acted by Lewis and Breslin.