Now available on DVD is the film The Driftless Area.
The Driftless Area stars Anton Yelchin (Odd Thomas), Zooey Deschanel (New Girl), Frank Langella, Alia Shawkat and John Hawkes.
I’m having a hard time trying to decide which genre this film falls under. There is a love story, crime story, supernatural story, thriller and drama all rolled into one.
Anton Yelchin stars as Pierre, a young man whose life has certainly had it’s fair share of drama. He left his small town to make his way in the big world, only to return home after both is parents died at the same time. Feeling a bit like an “orphan,” he is taken in by his best friend Carrie, who is more like a sister to him.
The film starts off with Pierre stranded on the side of the road carrying a rose bush. A car pulls over to offer him a ride. It’s driven by a man name Shane. Shane said he would give Pierre a life if he pays him $20. Pierre agrees.
Shane only drives Pierre a short distance when he forces Pierre to get out of his truck. Pierre is a bit thrown off by his request. Shane even demand that Pierre leave the rose bush. Pierre is forced out the truck and Shane takes off – only to pass out (he as drunk) and crash the car in a ditch.
Pierre witnesses this and runs to the car to get his rose bush. To his surprise he also finds a bag filled with money.
We come to find out that Shane stole the money from a home and set it on fire, not knowing there was someone in the home at the time.
Things seem a bit uneventful after that. Pierre returns home and meets up with his friend Carrie.
Fast forward a day or two later. Pierre is wondering around a grassy field when he accidentally falls into a well. He spends the night in the well. There is no way for him to get out and no one can hear his screams.
The next day he is rescue by a beautiful, mysterious women named Stella (Deschanel). Stella is the same girl from the fire.
This is where the story takes on a lot of twists and turns. Is Stella dead? If she is, how can Pierre interact with her? Shane is alive (or is he?) and wants the money that Pierre stole from him. Stella also has a strange relationship with the town’s hermit, Tim (Langella).
There is so much going on. Things make sense, but at the same time they don’t make sense. Is Stella dead? Is Shane dead? Is Pierre dead? Or are they alive? Or both?
The rose bush Pierre is carrying in the beginning of the film was for Stella, but at that point he had not met Stella yet – or did he?
Do you see why I think this film is very confusing?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting film. It’s just difficult to figure it all out. I even watched the bonus feature about the making of the film and even the actor’s thoughts about the film confused me.
I wish Yelchin smiled in this film. He seemed like he was in a constant fog and and never happy. Even though Deschanel’s character was dead (or was she?), she seemed much happier than Yelchin’s character.
I do know that Pierre was supposed to be the one to help make things right between Stella and the man who murdered her (Shane).
Ghost story, love story, crime story… label it as you’d like. The Drifless Area will certainly keep you guessing and trying to figure out the film, long after the film is over too. You won’t certainly forget it.
From a cinematic standpoint the film was beautiful. The scenery shots are lovely. I don’t know where the film was shot, but it’s a gorgeous place.
There is a bonus feature about the making of the film. It’s based on a book written by Tom Drury.
The film is currently available on DVD. Look for it where ever DVDs are sold.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.
*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.