Must-See Cinema: THE UNFORESEEN

by tully
February 28, 2008 2:54 AM
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Laura Dunn's The Unforeseen opens at Cinema Village tomorrow. I give it Boredom at its Boredest's highest recommendation. I've spoken to people who find the film heavy-handed and flowery and whatever else, but for me, The Unforeseen is one of the most resonant films that I've ever seen. I watched the trailer the other day before The Counterfeiters (though well executed, it felt like much of that movie was taken from Holocaust Drama 101, making it a perfectly worthy Oscar winner), and even the trailer of Dunn's majestic elegy to nature and hope had me on the verge of tears. Here's the review I wrote for Muze, Inc.:

Laura Dunn’s feature-length directorial debut is a profoundly stirring, visually stunning, and emotionally overpowering work of epic beauty. Sharing a kinship with the film’s executive producer, Terrence Malick, Dunn’s lyrical non-fiction poem reaches levels of transcendence not often encountered in cinema. THE UNFORESEEN recounts the embittered battle that emerged in the latter half of the 20th Century between real estate developer Gary Bradley and the residents of Austin, Texas. Bradley’s plan to develop yet another subdivision that would disturb the beautiful natural swimming hole, Barton Springs, created a swell of communal emotion that challenged big business and development in a manner heretofore unseen. As Dunn tells her personal tale, using archival footage, gorgeous graphic effects, incredibly lush photography (courtesy of Lee Daniel), and present-day interviews with the formative players (Bradley, former governor Ann Richards, and many others), THE UNFORESEEN begins to speak on a much grander scale, challenging viewers to confront similar situations that continue to plague their own cities and neighborhoods. But where Dunn succeeds and exposes her true humanity is in her portrait of Bradley, a reviled figure whom most opponents wouldn’t take the time to try to understand. It is this dismissal of anger and bitterness in favor of understanding and hope that makes THE UNFORESEEN such a transformative viewing experience and elevates it to greatness.

SEE THIS MOVIE.

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