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The clearing - Robert Redford, Willem Dafoe, Helen Mirren, Pieter Jan Brugge

Threat advisory: Guarded - General risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Wayne (Robert Redford) and Eileen Hayes (Helen Mirren) live the American Dream. Together they've raised two children and struggled to build a successful business from the ground up. But there have been sacrifices along the way. When Wayne is kidnapped by Arnold Mack (Willem Dafoe) and held for ransom in a remote forest, their world is turned inside out. Eileen finds her home full of FBI Agents, their life under scrutiny.

While Wayne is engaged in the negotiation of his lifetime, Eileen works frantically with the FBI to secure his release. The terrifying ordeal causes Wayne and Eileen to reassess their marriage and come to a deeper sense of their commitment to each other. With each passing hour, the need and desire for Wayne to return home safely becomes ever more urgent.

Persons of interest

  • Robert Redford .... Wayne Hayes
  • Willem Dafoe .... Arnold "Arn" Mack
  • Helen Mirren .... Eileen Hayes
  • Matt Craven .... Agent Fuller
  • Alessandro Nivola .... Tim Hayes
  • Melissa Sagemiller .... Jill Hayes
  • Peter Gannon .... Agent Elkins
  • Blake Law .... Oscar Hayes
  • Noah Law .... Oscar Hayes
  • Audrey Wasilewski .... Lisa
  • Justin Haythe .... Screenwriter
  • Pieter Jan Brugge .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

The clearing is a kidnap thriller for old people. There's no running around, no hitting, almost no blood and entirely no sex. The main theme is romantic: love conquers all. In a surprise piece of casting, Robert Redford plays the goodie and Willem Dafoe plays the baddie.

On the up-side, there are some nice shots of trees. Plus 20 bonus points.

On the down-side, the focus puller should never have been given the job: most of the close-ups are focused on the person's ears rather than their eyes (the eyes are the windows of the soul and the most expressive part of an actor's face). It's great to see someone attempting a narrow depth of field, but you have to get it right to receive any bonus points. Minus 50.

Security censorship classification

M (Low level violence, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

94 minutes (1:34 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 25 November 2004

Cinema surveillance images

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