What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this indie movie -- part thriller, part drama -- may prove too offbeat and experimental for teens, even though it stars (500) Days of Summer's Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It asks some big questions about family and relationships but doesn't really answer them, and there's not a lot to take away from watching. Expect a fair amount of profanity (including "f--k" and "s--t", a brief sexual interlude with no outright nudity, and some gunfire that results in death (though it's not particularly graphic).
What's the story?
Bobby (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Kate (Lynn Collins) have been together only 10 months, but they’re at a critical juncture: They’re expecting a baby. But what to do about it? Within the first 15 minutes of UNCERTAINTY, the story splinters into two vastly different directions: One’s a thriller involving a stranger’s cell phone that leads to gunfire and mayhem; the other’s a slow Fourth of July filled with big questions about family and relationships.
Is it any good?
Certainly, Uncertainty is creative. The twin storylines appear to reference a major decision that Bobby and Kate face in their relationship -- to keep or not to keep something -- and the two scenarios unfold simultaneously in a conceptually intriguing way. But while the exceedingly gifted Gordon-Levitt and the able Collins make for a watchable pair, the setup is gimmicky and the resolution unsatisfying.
It’s as if we’re watching two different films, one a thriller, the other a drama. And when the two finally meet in the end, we’re more perplexed than satisfied. But New York City is beautiful here, grit and all. In either storyline, it, more than anything, holds the audience’s gaze.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about what theme binds the two storylines together. What are the similarities? Does the film’s structure enhance or detract from the story?
Do Bobby and Kate seem like a loving couple? Troubled? Both? How realistic is their relationship?
What feeling does the film end with, and why? What are the little-spoken conflicts that loom over Bobby and Kate?