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Uncertainty

Year: 2009
Director: Scott McGhee/David Siegel
Producer: Scott McGhee/David Siegel
Writer: Scott McGhee/David Siegel
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Leaviit, Lynn Collins, Olivia Thirlby

A cooler, hipper Sliding Doors, albeit with slightly less point. It was almost as if the writer/director really wanted to make two films from different genres, didn't have the money and decided to just make them both at half length and spice them together.

Aside from not meaning anything and having no logical point or resolution, both stories are well acted and fleshed out by attractive if occasionally stilted performers (symptomatic no doubt it being mostly ad-libbed in rehearsals with no official script).

We meet Bobby (Leavitt) and Kate (Collins, compellingly gorgeous with her huge eyes and sensuous mouth) on the Brooklyn Bridge one Independence Day referring to a decision they have to make. They toss a coin, run off in opposite directions and the story splits to no apparent purpose.

In one, they're spending the day with her family, an experience that's as loving as it is prickly thanks to the family dynamics. With subplots like a lost dog it borders on the pedestrian and nothing of any real consequence happens apart from the revelation that the couple are pregnant and trying to decide whether to keep the baby or not (in one of the most perceptive lines about unexpected pregnancy you'll hear from a movie, they ask each other 'will we be parents or just people with a kid?').

The other is far more plot driven and far less plausible. They find a mobile phone in the back of a taxi and when their attempt to deliver the phone back to its owner results in a man being shot dead they go on the run, figuring out the phone contains data someone doesn't want known and tentatively deciding to try and make some money out of the situation by offering it to the highest bidder amongst their many shady contactees.

Both stories are lushly designed and filmed and if you want you can just ignore the metaphysics and enjoy them for what they are, a family drama and a pacey thriller. Or you can consider it a cinematic Schroedinger's cat – that every choice we make had two possible outcomes before it's made (in this case we see both outcomes simultaneously). It's a little pretentious but there's enough going on to keep you watching to the end.

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