Can I just right now profess my love for the wonderful, talented,
sexy and freckled Julianne Moore before we even start? Sigh.
OK, now that I've had my moment, let's get down to business.
It's really hard to talk about this movie without spoilers,
so if you've already decided to go see The Forgotten,
skip the review until after you've seen it.
Jason Myers: Also, for your convenience and safety, RevSF
is instituting a Spoiler Advisory System. We hope you will enjoy
this system, designed and approved by Professor Ludwig Von Drake.
Spoiler Alert Level: Yellow
Here's the skinny: Julianne plays Telly Paretta, a woman who
is not coping very well with the death of her son in a plane
crash about 14 months before the start of the film. She's still
unable to let go of her son's memory, or the pain of losing
This is wreaking havoc on her life and marriage to husband Jim
(Anthony "Revenged Nerd" Edwards.) In an effort to
deal with the loss, she's seeing a therapist, Dr. Jack Munce
(Gary "Lt. Dan" Sinise).
Just as it looks like she's starting to heal, all evidence that
she ever had a son vanishes. His pictures are gone. The home
movies are blank. She freaks out and accuses her husband of
removing everything to try and force her to move on.
Spoiler Alert Level: Blue
That's when Dr. Munce delivers her a hammer blow: she's manufactured
her son's whole life. Dr. Munce says that he's been easing her
towards this reality and that the mementos disappearing are
the sign that she's almost well.
Telly rejects this explanation, insists that something is wrong
with everyone but her, and runs. From here, we start to get
a taut character drama about a woman who claims that it's the
world that has gone mad, not her. Julianne does an excellent
job with the material, and gives the distraught Telly enough
of an unbalanced edge that she might actually be nuts.
That would have been a hell of a movie, but the preview, as
most do these days, ruins it by letting us know that she's the
sane one and that there is something sinister behind everyone
else's memory loss. Telly tries to find any evidence of her
son, the plane crash or anything else that will prove she's
Spoiler Alert Level: Orange
She eventually turns to another parent who lost a child in the
same plane crash, Ash Correl (Dominic West), a former player
for the New York Rangers. Always good to have a hockey player
with you, in case a fight breaks out.
After she helps him to remember his daughter Lauren, the two
go on the run from the cops – and NSA agents who are trying
to capture them for unknown reasons, and get to the bottom of
what's happened to their lives.
What's happened to everyone? Why are they the only ones who
remember? Who could have done this to them and the rest of the
world? And why would they do it?
Spoiler Alert Level: Yellow and Blue Makes Green
The movie has a few good scares, most of which are the "BOO!"
jump out type, and the steady paranoia of having no one you
Fans of the RPG Delta Green and The X-Files, and
other conspiracy aficionados, will enjoy the middle of the film
as we watch these two normal people try and find the truth without
Scully and Mulder's advantage of being FBI agents.
Everything else in the film is nicely done. Good music, good
direction, good acting, decent writing, and some really cool
effects. I'd rate it higher, but there are a few plot holes,
And the ending is a bit too "up" and pat for my taste.
I guess that I'm just too much of a cynic.
Overall, it's a decent movie. It's not a waste of your entertainment
dollar, but I don't think it will stand up to repeat viewings
except for die-hard conspiracy fans.
Spoiler Alert Level: Blue — No,
For the insatiably curious, or those who have seen the film,
here are my unanswered questions.
Why was Telly able to remember her son? I get that it's
the parent/child connection that the aliens are trying to test
and see if they could dissolve it, but what is it about Telly's
connection to her son that makes their particular connection
Jason: Does it have anything to do with the fact that her
son smiles like he could wish you out into the corn field at
Is it the "mom" thing, and does that mean that dad's
aren't as attached to their kids? And if it is the "mom"
thing, why didn't the other mom's resist the mind wipe?
Jason: My guess about Telly: She can tune! Shut it
down! Shut it down forever!
Why did they give Telly her back her son, aside from it being
a feel-good ending? Because the experiment was over? Was it
just easier to do that than keep mind-wiping her or having her
try and convince the world she was sane and making the other
parents remember their kids? Why not just abduct her permanently,
since they had already made her husband forget about her? And
what ever did happen to him?
I would have been happier if after it was all over they had
just left it ambiguous, where she was the only one who knew
what really happened and had to try and convince people that
she was sane. The experiment was over and a failure, but why
bother to return the kids? I know most people want that feel-good
ending, so I guess I'll just have to deal.
Why is it that the aliens yank poor Detective Pope (Alfre Woodard)
out of there for believing in them? Why not just wipe her memory
like everyone else's? I admit, however, that it was an effective
bit (and probably why it was done). I would have preferred a
plot-related reason, however cool the moment was.
Jason: Well, it's possible they did suck her up to wipe her,
not to kill her.
Other effective bits: The portrayal of our race being helpless
against the aliens and the government just doing its best to
"minimize the damage." (Players of Delta Green,
here are your Majestic 12 agents.) The effect of Detective Pope's
shooting our alien guy, and his smile at her as he walked away.
The car-crash really got me (though I refuse to believe that
Telly would have been that unhurt afterwards). And I loved the
whole "yank" thing. Very cool, and it never really
lost its punch as an effect.