out of Five
Running time: 93
Impressively directed, gripping and ultimately moving drama, with a compellingly intense performance by Damian Lewis.
Keane is executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, under the aegis of his Section Eight production company. Keane is Clean, Shaven director Lodge Kerrigan’s first film in eight years and he directs like a man who’s fearful that it might be another eight years before he directs again.
British actor Damian Lewis stars as William Keane, a mentally unstable man desperately searching for his abducted 8 year-old daughter. As his behaviour becomes increasingly manic, we realise that his obsession has driven a wedge between him and his wife and that he now lives alone in a hotel room, surviving on disability cheques.
Keane spends his days alternating between drugs, booze, casual sex and wandering around the Port Authority bus terminal, where his daughter was last seen. However, when he befriends his neighbour Lynn (Amy Ryan, from The
Wire) and her 8 year-old daughter Kira (Abigail Breslin, from Signs), they appear to have a calming influence on him.
There is strong support from Amy Ryan, even if perhaps we don’t believe that she’d be quite so ready to leave Kira in Keane’s charge. Breslin’s sweetly naive performance is note-perfect – her climactic scene with Lewis is nail-bitingly tense.
Kerrigan’s direction is rewarded with a powerful performance by Damian Lewis (doing a flawless American accent). He is utterly riveting as a man who is all too aware that he’s looking into the abyss and the scenes where he dips into outright mentalism are extremely uncomfortable to watch.
In short, Keane is a superbly written, brilliantly directed, heart-stoppingly tense drama with a terrific central performance from Damian Lewis. Highly recommended.