cers David Siegel and Scott McGehee have now collabora-
ted on four films, be-
ginning with Suture in 1994 and continu-
ing with The Deep End in 2001, Bee Season in 2005, with UNCERTAINTY their latest. What unites their work in my mind is the near-consistent sense of an exercise, rather than a fully imagined and lived-in story at the heart of each film. The exer-
cise quotient is high-
est in the duo’s first and last endeavors, with The Deep End and Bee Season adhering on the surface to more conventional narrative styles. Yet the exercise is always present, and though I’m sure this sounds like I am knocking their films, I don't mean to. An exercise, after all, can be challenging and productive.
directors also surround them-
selves with talent aplenty, particu-
larly where their cinematography is concerned. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of the term black-and-white without Suture (shot by Greg Gardiner) coming quickly to mind. (The Deep End was shot by Giles Nuttgens.) With their latest endeavor, they’ve outdone them-
wise, using the Chinese cinematographer Rain Li, whose capture of New York City’s bridges, rivers, subways, parks, rooftops and especially Chinatown is alternately ravishing or ratty and always right. The twosome casts its films with care, as well. Who can forget Tilda Swinton in The Deep End? In Uncertainty, they’ve cornered two of our finest young actors, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (above, left) and Lynn Collins (below, right) for their leads and brought in Olivia Thirlby and Assumpta Serna for choice backup roles. No surprise: Everyone delivers.