January 18, 2017
The Captive (Atom Egoyan, 2014). The sad thing about Atom Egoyan is that we measure everything against the heights of his greatest work and find it lacking, time and time again – perhaps he peaked too soon. It doesn’t help when a (relatively) new film like The Captive seems to be a pallid, lifeless, poorly-constructed retread of his best films, with their deep explorations of loss and memory. Child abduction, disappearances, guilt, grief: it was all done so much better in The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica and Felicia’s Journey, which constitute the mature peak of Egoyan’s career. This has none of the sad, complicated feelings of those three films and Egoyan makes a confusing mess of the tricky timelines – the kind of thing that once came easily to him.