Insurance agent Abe Holt (Forest Whitaker) is investigating the suspicious death of the driver of a burned-out car. Holt has to work out whether the dead man, a conman with a criminal record, could possibly have been the victim of an attempt to swindle the insurance company. When he meets Isolde (Julia Stiles), the dead manís sister, Holt slowly begins to lose his professional distance.
Moody dialogue, drab lighting, and characters who aren't quite who they say they are pepper the indie film A Little Trip To Heaven
. Starring Forest Whitaker as Holt (an insurance investigator looking into a man's suspicious death), and Julia Stiles as Isolde (the frightened and sketchy sister of the deceased), A Little Trip
's destination actually is closer to hell than heaven. Unevenly portrayed and not well-fleshed out, not one of the characters is sympathetic. Isolde's brute of a husband is the prime suspect, but Holt--who in a different film would be the story's hero--isn't exactly a saint either. There's a particularly creepy scene where he's little more than a peeping Tom, justifying his perversion as doing what's necessary to get his job done. As shown in films such as Half Nelson
, imperfect characters can make for compelling filmmaking. The problem with A Little Trip To Heaven
is that we want to root for someone--anyone--but there's just no one who's worthy of our interest. --Jae-Ha Kim