Review of Hide Away


Movie Review: "Hide Away"

--Rating: PG-13 (thematic material, brief strong language, and a sensual scene)
Length: 88 minutes
Release Date: June 1, 2012 (in select theaters)
Directed by: Chris Eyre
Genre: Drama
Cast: Josh Lucas, Anna Faba, Ayelet Zurer, James Cromwell, Jon Tenney, Taylor Nichols, and Casey LaBow.

Ladies, make sure you bring along a box of tissues if you have plans to go see "Hide Away" with the girls or with your guy. This is a film that's all about life and what happens when it doesn't go according to plan. What's rare about this particular film is that it leaves a few holes in the story that allow the audience to draw its own conclusions about why Young Mariner, played by Josh Lucas, is grieving. Where many movies today hand-feed every ounce of the story to the audience, "Hide Away" requires its audience members to use their imaginations. Dream sequences throughout the movie provide hints about what happened in the past, but if you're in the audience, you must put the pieces together yourself. Alternately, you may simply choose to go with the flow and watch the story unfold without trying to work out every little detail.

Another interesting point about "Hide Away" is that the characters, for the most part, aren't given specific names. Instead, they are given titles based on their roles, such as Young Mariner, The Ancient Mariner, The Boss, The Waitress, The Divorced Man, The Buyer, and The Seller.

The story itself is a lesson in recovery-in this instance, from grief. As Young Mariner repairs the dilapidated shell of a boat named "Hesperus," his wounds begin to heal and his grief begins to dissipate. In the beginning of the movie, Young Mariner knows nothing about sailboats or sailing. However, as he repairs "Hesperus" he learns a few lessons about the boats while also confronting some personal demons. It's not all smooth sailing by any means. Young Mariner suffers many advances and setbacks on a personal level as well as in his physical quest to breathe new life into an old boat. By the time he has finished repairing the boat, Young Mariner has been changed by the experience of restoring life to the boat and by the people he has met along the way.

The excellent supporting cast in "Hide Away" includes names such as Jon Tenney, James Cromwell, Casey LaBow, and Ayelet Zurer, but much of the movie focuses on the character Josh Lucas brings to life so well. There are many solitary moments in the film that focus on Young Mariner and drive home the fact that he's running away from haunting memories and seeking some sort of redemption. These are the moments that really make "Hide Away" shine.

While the movie itself centers on a heavy topic, there are moments of levity, humor, and even joy in the film. It's a heartwarming movie that is not at all depressing even as it explores many stages of grief. If Lucas's inspired performance isn't enough, the cinematography in the film really steals the show with its stunning imagery. The power of Lucas's acting and the wonderful cinematography combined with brilliant directing by Chris Eyre are largely responsible for the many awards this film has already netted, including the SXSW Film Festival Award.

"Hide Away" was originally released with the title "A Year in Mooring" on October 30, 2011 at the Savannah Film and Video Festival. It will be available in select theaters beginning June 1, 2012. "Hide Away" will never be considered a massive summer blockbuster in movie and film circles. It is, however, a poignant tale of grief, despair, hope, and redemption. You don't have to be a fan of the water, sailboats, or tears to take home something of value from this film. Although "Hide Away" is not at all a typical feel-good movie, you will find it difficult to leave the theater after watching this film without feeling a little bit better about life in general.

The upcoming summer is filled with great films and movies to add to your summertime list of movies to watch. "Hide Away" is a surprising film you should consider moving to the top of this list. It has quite a few surprises and is sure to please those who watch with an open mind and use a little bit of imagination to fill in the blanks the movie deliberately leaves behind. Just don't forget your box of tissues. You're probably going to need them.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars