Her directorial debut, Reed Morano’s Meadowland takes a brave look at two people who are in very deep pain. They struggle with the darkness captivating one’s attention like crazy.
The first scene sets up the story and overall tone of the movie. We meet a married couple, played brilliantly by Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson. They are on a family trip and lose their young son. Abduction is what everyone assumes happened to the child. The story follows the aftermath of their loss, one year later. Two people who were once in love are now individually alone. The marriage crumbles from the inside while starting at the edges. The mother wanders in the middle of the night going to the subway as her maternal love feels empty. The father is a New York City cop, who turns cold, trying to resolve his issues at a support group, but failing to even make that go right. They live in the past with only memories barely keeping them awake from the tragedy.
This is a very sad movie and as a parent, a hard movie to watch. Yet, the performances are beautifully executed and capture the melancholy and carelessness followed by the loss of a loved one. The supporting cast, including Elizabeth Moss, Giovanni Ribisi, and John Leguizamo, offer deep, rich colors of despair. Reed Morano, who is known in the industry as a cinematographer for such notable movies as Frozen River and The Magic of Belle Isle, takes the viewers on an unbelievable and unforgettable journey as she guides these tormented characters.
Meadowland is beautifully shot and an expertly crafted movie, yet it is sad. Your mindset needs to be ready for a downer because the subject matter will turn your stomach inside out with emotion and fear of losing your own children.