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When Kelli (Linda Cardellini) returns home following a tour of duty in Iraq, she is welcomed with open arms by her husband Mike (Michael Shannon) and two children. Eager to get back to her old routines, she gradually realizes that the world she left behind is no longer waiting for her. Struggling to adjust,
Kelli finds temporary solace in the arms of Bud (John Slattery), a fellow veteran, but is still unable to come to terms with life as a civilian. Bonus Features:
Audio commentary with director Liza Johnson and cinematographer Anne Etheridge, Deleted Scenes - From Focus Features, the premiere global brand in original and daring cinema, comes Focus World charged with finding the most exciting voices in international and independent film.
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Make no mistake : Linda Cardellini puts this movie on her back, and carries it the entire way. She turns in the best performance of her career to date as the young soldier struggling with life as she once knew it. Michael Shannon somewhat steps outside of his comfort zone in his role as her husband, Mike. While often playing quirky, left-of-center characters with strong personalities, he opts for a reserved, soft-spoken approach to play Mike. His performance is as solid as any that he's ever given, and his ever-expanding resume continues to make him one of the more reliable actors working today.
Evenly paced, 'Return' is a character study of a life removed from balance, and the endeavor to restore what once was.
POTENTIAL SPOILER AHEAD:
Without going into detail, because I don't want to spoil the story, I just want to explain my 2-star rating. In an otherwise good movie, with some excellent acting, the ending just chopped off. While I understand the message at the end, it just felt like poor direction, a dash of cold water throwing me out of the movie, just because of the way it was cut. I thought at first that the download had quit, or that there was an error somewhere. I had to scan backward and view the ending again just to try to find out if I'd missed something. If not for this, I would have rated the movie much higher.
Now she's a mother with two daughters and a cheating husband and back from the "war" as a Reservist.
When she moves she tells every untold story that soldiers never tell. She's so fine an actress without saying
much at all; it's all in her body and her beautiful face.
I understand my son better now as a returned veteran who just can't seem to setttle back down and be at peace
in a non-war zone.
Brilliant film. But oh how I wish there was peace.
Just a note: Linda Cardellini is the greatest at portraying those with mutant consciousnesses or those developing same. I still love Freaks and Geeks.
I'll probably watch this movie a dozen more times. It's Great.
Another note, the theme of Mutant Consciousness is central to a novel I am finishing this month. Entitled Army Girl, it covers much of the same issues and relationships that Ms Johnson's movie so brilliantly portrays and will be published by Create Space.
I felt like Linda Cardelini did a really good job showing emotion, and played the part of a returning soldier well. It's one of those films that isn't always flattering on an actress, but to me, that shows a really good actress.
The film left me pondering, and wondering what else may have happened in this story...and that indicates a good film in my book!