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Monday, December 8, 2014

Locke (2013)

The entire movie takes place in real time and in a car.  Ivan Locke is unexpectedly traveling to attend the premature birth of his child.  While he is en route he makes telephone calls to various people that he is letting down and those dialogues are interspersed with angry conversations with his long dead father.

Ivan is a builder of skyscrapers.  He has a real love for his job.  When the concrete pour goes well, he is proud and satisfied.  At the end of a project earlier in the year he had a drunken one night stand with Bethan, a middle aged woman who he almost literally did not know.  Bethan gets pregnant and decided to keep the baby, a miracle that she can't pass up.  She tells Ivan, and it is clear that she hopes this will win him to her, but she is quite wrong about that.  What she doesn't get is that he himself was abandoned and denied by his father, and so he feels unable to deny Bethan's child.  He has made a commitment to himself that he will be there are the birth of the child and give him his name.  He will not do more for the mother, but he will do that.

There are two problems--the first is that he has not told his wife, whom he loves, about his predicament.  The other is that the biggest concrete pour of his career is occurring the morning after the birth of his child and he is going to miss it.  So while he is driving, he is juggling all the anger and disappointment by telephone, while also managing the final details of the concrete pour.  It is a My Dinner with Andre kind of movie, small in scope and real life in detail. 

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