Life in Flight

Empty

This tale depicting the quiet existential despair of a married architect who finds his feelings reawakened by an attentive single woman is so muted and internal in its focus that its entire running time feels like a preamble to a drama that never quite begins.

It recently screened at Tribeca.

Patrick Wilson, in a role not too far removed from his domestic adulterer in “Little Children,” plays Will, a successful New York architect who seems to have it all: a beautiful, successful wife (Amy Smart), an adorable 7-year-old and a career that is on the verge of taking off thanks to a prospective merger with a big firm.

But there seems to be something missing, as evidenced by an early scene in which he attempts to initiate some early morning sex only to be rebuffed by his hurried spouse. When he meets young retail designer Kate (Lynn Collins), he begins a quiet flirtation in which he pointedly forgets to mention his being married. When she finds out, she’s so distraught that she immediately moves to Los Angeles.

Although it’s admirable that director-screenwriter Tracey Hecht refuses to infuse the proceedings with melodramatic plot elements, her tasteful restraint proves detrimental. Most of the drama takes place within Will’s churned-up psyche, but though the handsome Wilson fulfills the physical aspects of his role perfectly, he’s unable to provide the characterization with a depth that goes much beyond a hangdog expression.

Smart is similarly unable to infuse her thankless role with any significant texture, and though Collins is appealing as the emotionally naked Kate, her character also fails to come to life.

Tribeca Film Festival
Plum Pictures
CAST: Patrick Wilson, Amy Smart, Lynn Collins, Rashida Jones, Monique Gabriela Curnen, Fred Weller, Zak Orth
Director/Writer: Tracey Hecht
Executive producers: David Smikow, Antoine Schwartz
Producers: Galt Niederhoffer, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Celine Rattray, Pamela Hirsch
Director of photography: Harlan Bosmajian
Production designer: John Nyomarkay
Music: Anton Sanko
Costume designer: Kitty Boots
Editors: Craig McKay, Pete Beaudreau
No MPAA rating, 80 min.
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