|Red Road (2010)|
Red Road is the story of Jackie, played by the extraordinary Kate Dickie in a restrained and sensitive performance, which is all the more powerful for its understatement.
Jackie is a lonely CCTV operator, watching over the streets of Glasgow like a guardian angel, trying to stop people coming to harm. She comes to know some of her "regulars" by their habits, although they don't know her, or the affection that she feels for them.
Outside of work, her relations with real, flesh and blood people, appear less successful. She rarely goes out and is having an affair with a married man that is distant, cold and demonstrative only of how badly Jackie feels about herself.
One day Jackie sees someone from her past on camera, someone she cannot forget, so she starts to watch him.
This is a quiet film, keenly observed and deeply felt; an extremely rewarding watch.
Red Road is part of a collaborative series of films, organised by Lars von Trier, whereby each of the film makers involved agreed to be constrained by a set of rules, one of which was that all the films in the collaboration should share a cast and that therefore all the casting for all the films had to be done at the same time and collaboratively between the teams.
Despite this, none of the actors appear miscast, all of them give finely nuanced performances. The only way that the audience could possibly tell the method of casting is that there seems to be an intimacy between the cast that perhaps points to a longer term involvement than is often seen.
That intimacy is supported by the nature of the film, its themes of love and loss, pain and comfort.