Saturday 17 February 2024

Movie Review: The Parts You Lose (2019)

Genre: Drama  
Director: Christopher Cantwell  
Starring: Aaron Paul, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Scoot McNairy, Danny Murphy  
Running Time: 94 minutes  

Synopsis: In rural North Dakota, ten-year-old Wesley (Danny Murphy) is a deaf child living on a farm with his mother Gail (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Wesley is regularly bullied at school, while his gruff father Ronnie (Scoot McNairy) can barely conceal his disdain towards his son. After a violent shooting at a nearby town, Wesley stumbles upon a wounded criminal (Aaron Paul). He hides him in the barn and helps him recover. As a bond develops between the stranger and Wesley, the law closes in, and Ronnie's violent tendencies emerge. 

What Works Well: The wide-open snow-covered plains create a sense of isolation, and director Christopher Cantwell leverages the setting to create a tense and slow-burning drama. Men as a source of danger surround young Wesley, the dad in the house no better than the wounded criminal in the barn. Young Danny Murphy is terrific as a kid navigating an already tough environment with a hearing disability, while Aaron Paul and Scoot McNairy bring suitable menace to the adult roles.

What Does Not Work As Well: The content is both familiar and thin, barely sustaining the 94 minutes of running time. Considerable suspension of disbelief is required to allow for Wesley missing school and avoiding his mother's attention for the long periods he spends with the stranger.

Conclusion: Effectively moody but also close to mundane.

All Ace Black Movie Blog reviews are here.

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