Cold Weather (2011)

Drama Rated NR

An insider exercise, Cold Weather plays with genre conventions and audience expectations as they relate to both the mumblecore movement and detective yarns. Director Aaron Katz (Dance Party, USA) takes a handful of typical indie characters – a stuck-in-a-rut sister and her aimless, live-in brother – and throws them into a mystery plot when the brother’s ex-girlfriend re-enters his life and then suspiciously disappears. As the clues mount, so might your frustration. Doug (Cris Lankenau), the brother, is a man of inaction – “I guess,” “I don’t know” and “Maybe” are his most common verbal responses. Putting him in situations of suspense, Katz nearly turns Cold Weather into a comedy. Katz is also more than willing to put the entire mystery on pause and allow for an extended scene of random conversation between Doug and his sister (Trieste Kelly Dunn). It’s as if the audience is being tested: can you appreciate such slow pacing and focus on character, or do you need your fix of Hollywood plot? How you respond to the non-ending ending of Cold Weather may determine whether you pass or fail. As for the movie itself, I give it more than a pass. There are enough routine movie mysteries out there; it’s a kick to see one try something different.