The Girl in the Park (2007)
Weaver's Little Girl Lost
The day after a successful night singing in a night club Julia (Sigourney Weaver - The Village) takes her daughter Maggie (Daisy Tahan) to the park. As dusk starts to settle Julia takes her eye of Maggie for just a second to pack away her bag and when she looks back Maggie has gone. 16 years later and Julia is still struggling with the disappearance of her daughter as her marriage to Doug (David Rasche) has failed, her relationship with her son Chris (Alessandro Nivola - The Clearing) and pregnant wife to be Celeste (Keri Russell) is slim and she spends her time in the park where she gets taken in by the police for suspicious behaviour around little children. But then Louise (Kate Bosworth - Superman Returns) enters her life and Julia grows fond of this young woman who she begins to wonder whether she could be her missing daughter.
That synopsis makes "The Girl in the Park" sound like a typical drama about the devastation of an abducted child with a touch of mystery surrounding whether or not some years later a young woman is the daughter. Now if that is what you hope for, an entertaining drama about abduction, grief and then some mystery you might be in for a big disappointment because "The Girl in the Park" is not entertaining on that level. Instead what this movie is is a character study, it is all about Julia, how her life has changed during those 16 years and how when she meets Louise she discovers something akin to a maternal side.
Now for those who like movies which are about characters "The Girl in the Park" is going to be good because Julia is a well thought out character. Watching how she reacts to her family, semi nervous, slightly cold, detached from feeling close having gone through the heartache of loss before it is a thoughtfully constructed character. But the way we see different facets of her, the maternal side when she takes in Louise is fascinating as is the side when it comes to the mystery of whether or not Louise is her missing daughter and that sense of wanting her to be.
As such the performance from Sigourney Weaver is what makes this movie because she manages to convey the character of Julia so brilliantly. But she also conveys Julia physically as we see how 16 years of grief has affected her physically as well as those 16 years of growing old. And Weaver works well with Kate Bosworth delivering a spark of authenticity to the banter between them although I found her character less hard to believe.
What this all boils down to is that "The Girl in the Park" is interesting more for the writing of a character and the performance from Sigourney Weaver. But as such if you are a fan of character studies this one should interest you but those attracted by the story line might find it laborious.
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