Main Plot Points:
- In the hazy aftermath of an unimaginable loss, married couple Sarah (Olivia Wilde) and Phil (Luke Wilson) come unhinged, recklessly ignoring the repercussions.
- Phil, a New York City cop, starts to lose sight of his morals as Sarah puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations, falling deeper into her own fever dream. The directorial debut of cinematographer Reed Morano, Meadowland is a visceral exploration of grief and hope.
What We Thought:
- Meadowland is a pretty solid drama with good performances from Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson.
- They play a husband and wife who suffer a huge loss and whose lives spin out afterwards.
- I don’t know if this is a character Wilde could have played 5 years ago. I’ve always liked her as an actress, but now that she’s older and a mother herself, she can pull off these roles. She’s haunted, depressed and tormented by her loss and loses the closeness to her husband. She struggles at her job (teaching) and tries to latch on to students to feel something.
- Wilson plays the more expected role. Maybe I’m stereotyping (as a male myself), but I find his reaction to their loss more “man” based. He continues his work as a police officer, but compartmentalizes his grief and tries to analyze it and figure it out like most men do. He goes to support group meetings, but never stops believing and trying to figure out what exactly happened.
- It reminded me of the early 80s film Without a Trace starring Judd Hirsch. It leaves the door open enough throughout the film that you never quite know what exactly happened or if they should still have hope. I liked that.
- My only issue with the film is that is has too many layers/characters. Elisabeth Moss is in it and she really didn’t need to be. Her character has a point, but isn’t really necessary. To me it should be about their grief and loss, all the side characters deter you away from that at times. I understand Wilde’s longing to feel something again and to find closeness, but it just seemed like one too many. Her attachment to a young special needs boy makes sense, but there’s another student (a female) that just seemed unnecessary to me.
- All that being said, I quite liked Meadowland. Wilde and Wilson are very good and it’s a pretty moving watch (even as a childless adult). I’m surprised this didn’t get a bigger push on VOD because I think the older 30 crowd will like it.
- Behind the Scenes
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Olivia Wilde
- Luke Wilson
- Elisabeth Moss
Recommended if You Like:
- Without a Trace
- The Captive