Cold Weather

WATCHING THE DETECTIVES Lankenau, left, and Dunn are on the case.
‘You were right, man! Sherlock Holmes was the pimp!’ Yes, Sherlock goes slacker for this wry, shabby suburban mystery from Aaron Katz, writer-director of mumblecore gem ‘Quiet City’. That film’s loping, likeable lead Cris Lankenau returns as Doug, uni dropout and hometown returnee who interperses night shifts at a Portland, Oregon, ice factory with a growing interest in solving crime. So when his ex goes missing, Doug springs into action: casing her motel room, reading up on code-breaking and, most importantly, buying a pipe.

Despite its low-key sensibility, the mumblecore movement is proving surprisingly adaptable. Following kids-in-a-cabin horror ‘Baghead’ and squeamish sex comedy ‘Humpday’, ‘Cold Weather’ is perhaps the most successful attempt yet to bolt the key facets of mumblecore – improvised dialogue, naturalistic performances, a tiny budget – on to a contradictory genre.  Katz’s characters are beautifully observed, the autumnal photography of downtown Portland is lovely, and the tension is expertly maintained: the final act, as the mystery deepens and Doug sinks deeper into obsessive behaviour, is nailbiting. The cast deserve praise: Lankenau is a charmingly shambolic frontman, ably backed by Trieste Kelly Dunn and Robyn Rikoon as the women in his life. But it’s Raul Castillo as his sceptical colleague turned budding Dr Watson, Carlos, who grabs the spotlight, turning what could have been a sidekick role into the warm heart of this ice-cool slice-of-life drama.

Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday April 15 2011
Duration: 97 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Aaron Katz
Screenwriter: Aaron Katz
Cast: Trieste Kelly Dunn
Raul Castillo
Jeb Pearson
Cris Lankenau
Robyn Rikoon

Average User Rating

1.3 / 5

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Phil Ince

Ultimately irritating. Some prolonged shots of f*** all and a phoney 'plot', unresolved. A long discussion scene where the male leads purposelessly shuffle ice boxes 6 feet seems simply there to give life to this aridity. Acted well. Looks fine. But it's pointless.