Cannes Review: The Dark of Night

Score: B-

Director: Robin Wright

Cast: Leslie Bibb, Sam Rockwell, Callie Thorne, Nini Le Huhn, Michael Godere

Running Time: 10 Minutes

Rated: NR

“Let her stay.”

Headlined by the likes of Leslie Bibb, Sam Rockwell and Callie Thorne, it is immediately clear that the industry is behind Robin Wright’s short The Dark of Night.  Based on the turnout at its Cannes World Premiere, so are her fans.

The story itself is interesting enough: a late night dinner plays refuge to a woman seeking shelter from the storm.  But the sanctuary is short lived as she finds herself in the midst of a complex plan where everyone has an agenda and no one is who they seem.

Shot in noir style that offers an intriguing experience that counters the current mainstream standard, Wright seeks inspiration from films of the 50s and 60s.  While she nails that aspect of the story there is little else to get behind here.

Simplistic blocking and fairly bland scenery relies too much on the genre and the time period to drum up appeal.  Instead of digging into the script Wright glances over the concept, offering no real connection as the final product is painfully predictable, especially when comparing it to her time behind the camera on Netflix’s House of Cards.

For what its worth Bibb, Rockwell and Thorne all preform well in their respective roles.  Over the top and full of exasperated emotion, they embody the actors of the time period.  But their delivery (along with Denise Meyers’ dialogue) can only get the film so far.  It’s lack of creativity is hard proves too much to overcome.

While I will credit Wright and her team of actors for giving us a fresh perspective, there is ultimately something missing.  While the visual black and white makes us originally feel that we are about to be in for a treat, the short isn’t impressive.  It’s also not disappointing, which might be the worst thing about the situation.  It is, for a lack of a better words, fine.  Maybe it isn’t fair, but with Wright’s resume, I expected something better.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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