'The Driftless Area'
(Frank Langella, Aubrey Plaza, Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Zooey Deschanel, et al / DVD / R / 2016 / Sony Pictures Classics)
Overview: A bartender comes back to his hometown after his parents die, and finds himself in a dangerous situation involving a mysterious woman and a violent criminal.
DVD Verdict: First off, 'The Driftless Area' is so very beautifully shot, hence the widescreen presentation (2.40:1) we have on view here. The cast is especially remarkable also, with the main character, played by Yelchin actually being my least favorite one overall, sorry. His character is confusing, and you wonder what part is he actually playing within the plot. It's not a bad performance at all, but he does lack emotion in some of the scenes.
Ms. Deschanel plays Stella, probably the most intriguing and haunting character in the story. She seems not to fit anywhere, and makes us wonder whether she's real or just an illusion. Her undeniable and almost ethereal beauty is especially highlighted in a scene where she is wearing a white dress - she was distressingly beautiful! And overall a great performance that shows her dramatic side is as good as her comedic 'New Girl' TV show one. Probably my favorite performance in the film overall.
Ms. Plaza ('Parks & Recreation') has a short role in it, but she is really good also. Just her facial expressions can say so much more than her words, for the most part. A role rather different from her 'Parks & Recreation' portrayal, but that's what makes it great, nonetheless. I wish we'd gotten to see more of her, in truth, as she is only it the film for two or three scenes, sadly. John Hawkes is wonderful as the "villain" of the story, and makes you hate him within ten minutes - so, well done you!
In closing, I found 'The Driftless Area' entertaining and thoughtful. The murder for profit angle eventually comes to the surface and Pierre's fate hangs by a thread. There is enough mystery and action to keep the casual viewer entertained, and fans of both 'Parks & Recreation' and 'New Girl' will love seeing their girls here also. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:
Making The Driftless Area