Canada, US / 97 minutes / color / Northern Eagle/Triton, Tsunami Dir: Richard Middleton Pr: Ken Nakamura, Tim Riley Scr: Richard Middleton Story: Lorna Lambert Cine: Walter Bal Cast: Brigitte Bako, David Lipper, Kane Picoy, Barry Blake, Eric Roberts, Cas Anver (i.e., Cas Anvar), Simon Peacock, Jo Marr, Karen Cliche, Chip Chuipka.
I went into this not expecting a huge amount but found it to be one of the more engaging neonoirs I’ve seen in a while.
Starting from the opening credits, our intermittent narrator is Josh Grey (Roberts), recently murdered by person or persons unknown. As he tells us,
“They say sometimes there are three sides to every story—his side, her side, and the truth. This is one of those stories.”
And he’s right. Even though we might expect him, as someone speaking from the afterlife, to know the truth of the matter, he’s guessing as much as the rest of us are as we watch a set of narratives in which it seems just about every narrator is an unreliable one.
Eric Roberts as Josh Grey.
Brigitte Bako as Dana Demotte.
Let me qualify that “set of narratives” remark. There are plenty of movies—a classic recent example is the wonderful À LA FOLIE . . . PAS DU TOUT (2002; vt He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not) starring the equally wonderful Audrey Tautou—in which we’re presented with first one and then another account of a sequence of events, the second account forcing us to radically reappraise our initial impression. In Wrong Number the variant accounts are presented almost as if part of a single narrative: we’re never quite sure who if anyone is the false narrator.
I should add that Wrong Number has a lot of the feel of a (very good) TV movie. But pay attention to Continue reading