Thursday, April 20, 2006


2005, US, directed by Robert Schwentke

Flightplan starts out as a surprisingly spooky, consciously Hitchcockian movie, only to end up as something far more conventional. It's disappointing, really, that script-writers almost never think beyond the obvious resolution: there's an intriguing idea buried in this film, and it's sustained for two-thirds of the film (to its credit, Flightplan doesn't overstay its welcome, with a lean 86-minute running time). Jodie Foster is quite effective as a woman who's just been widowed, and who is travelling back to the US from Germany in the company of her young daughter (one of the spookier moppets to appear on screen of late); she also just happens to be an airplane engineer who helped design the plane she's traveling on. When she falls asleep, her daughter disappears, and the crew and other passengers give the impression that they've never seen the child on board (her name doesn't even appear on the manifest). Foster doesn't tend to play characters who give up easily, though, and she doesn't go quietly here. In support, Peter Sarsgaard has a rather thin role, but Sean Bean is excellent as the captain, while there's a vein of post-9/11 social commentary that's, thankfully, laid on reasonably lightly.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States