Absentia (2011) Absence Makes the Heart Grow Colder
That’s not to say that Absentia doesn't run into its share of problems. While Bell and Parker have a great chemistry and being as they are supposed to be women around my age, I felt like they were realistic characters who I would expect to meet. Bell doesn't play Trisha as a wounded woman, she has recovered and is on the cusp of a new life. The same can said of Parker's recovered drug users. Both women are survivors and they feel like it. They also feel like sisters, and their chemistry is what saves Absentia from many of its faults. The only thing I felt like was strange about how the characters were built is that Trisha’s pregnancy goes unspoken about for a long time. It confused me to a certain extent because I was trying to figure out if she'd be magically pregnant for seven years or did she have her husband's little swimmers on ice. That portion of their characters and the anticlimactic revelations it leads to are the pair's only failing. In fact the pregnancy is really neither here nor there until the very ending of the film where it is exploited to shocking effect.
There’s also a real drop off between the girls performances and their supporting cast. Other than Mr. Abe Saipan, Doug Jones, who shows up to impress in a minor role, the rest of the cast’s performances were also in absentia. The most painful is Dave Levine as the Detective who has obviously fathered a child with Trisha. Levine reads like a beat away from being Will Sasso, and his line delivery brought scenes to an absolute halt. His character should have been pivotal to the action in the film, but instead he seems pitiful and not in a good way. I can’t say much about his partner, played by Justin Gordon, other than he can really deliver the line, “I need you to file a missing persons report.” because he nailed the fucker to the wall every time.