LAMB, like a beautifully wafting shroud. One of its two stars, Ross Partridge, directed the film, as well as adapted it (from the novel by Bonnie Nadzam), and he has come up with something rather extraordinary: a kind of character study about characters who've gone missing -- in at least a couple of senses of that word. Mr. Partridge, shown on poster, right, and below, plays a fellow who appears to have no character. He's a kind of semi-benign sociopath who lies constantly: to his wife, boss, mistress and then, maybe to the other important character in the film, a young girl he meets and gloms onto, who, in the course of the movie, goes missing herself.
Oona Laurence (above), who plays Tommie/Emily. Ms Laurence possesses a level of maturity and focus that even most adult actors never achieve. (She reminds us, in this regard, of the younger Saoirse Ronan.) The actress has the ability to look and act both her own age and that of a much older, wiser person -- without ever losing her grasp on the reality of the situation at hand. Her performance here also avoids, thank god, any hint of the "cute."
Jess Weixler, who plays the mistress of David/Gary and whose character is intelligent enough to finally provide us a small "fix" on this guy's modus operandi. At one point she tells him, "You can't go around making the whole world angry, just so you'll know where you stand."
Like Sunday Like Rain -- this pairing seems as wrong and unhelpful as the earlier film's twosome was beneficial and valuable. But that's my "take" on things. Partridge's film is definitely worth seeing, arguing over, and finally coming to your own conclusion about what our guy has done to or for our girl.
The Orchard and running a just-about-perfect length at 97 minutes, Lamb opens this Friday, January 8, in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Music Hall 3 and in New York City at the Cinema Village.