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Complete Unknown

Score: 80%
Rating: R
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 92 Mins.
Genre: Drama/Mystery
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish


  • Commentary with Director Joshua Marston

Complete Unknown stars Michael Shannon as Tom, married to Ramina (Azita Ghanizada), a budding jewelry artisan who longs to pursue her craft in San Diego, although Tom's job and commitments keep them in New York. On Tom's birthday, his best friend Clyde (Michael Chernus, Orange is the New Black) brings his new lady friend Alice (Rachel Weisz, The Mummy series) to the party and Tom is stunned to recognize her, not as Alice but as Jennie, his college girlfriend who mysterious disappeared some 15 years ago. She acts as if she doesn't recognize him and instead of the piano prodigy he knew, this woman is a biologist studying frogs in the area. As the evening progresses and the party and its attendees move to a local hot spot for dancing, "Alice" reveals even more tricks up her sleeve and Tom's friends start to strongly question her backstory.

When Alice/Jennie feels pressured and leaves the bar, Tom follows to find out just what happened all those years ago and why Jennie left. As the pair are talking, an older woman named Nina (Kathy Bates) out walking her dog stumbles and the pair help her back to her apartment and her doting husband, Roger (Danny Glover). It is in talking with this couple that Tom begins to watch Jennie work her magic as she weaves yet another intricate backstory for this couple's benefit. She is so adept, in fact, that she draws Tom into her story and he falls right into step. As the night unfolds before this pair of old friends, Tom begins to see the appeal of recreating oneself and why Jennie may have done this throughout the years. Will he join Jennie on her latest journey or will he patch things up with Ramina and begin a new life in San Diego? The future is wide open...

Complete Unknown is a very quiet and introspective film. Although there are a handful of cast members, the film centers around the rather brilliant Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, as they reminisce and rediscover one another. The supporting cast is quite good, as well, and I always love seeing Michael Chernus whenever I can. He's just a delight.

The only special feature is an audio commentary by Director Joshua Marston, but if you are into filmmaking or just want more insight into the film, it's worth a listen.

While not for everyone, Complete Unknown is a solid drama. Weisz as the enigmatic Alice/Jennie (and others) is touching and believable (although a slight stretch as an 18-year-old), while Michael Shannon is, as always, an absolute joy to watch. If you are a fan of these actors and enjoy a mysterious drama, check out Complete Unknown.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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