Genre: Drama and Mystery Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.
Release Date: April 20th, 2007 MPAA Rating: R
Director: Robert Budreau Actors: Roy Dupuis, Jane McGregor, Gordon Tootoosis, David Fox, Lindsey Cote, Ron Payne, Jim Calarco
haunting tale of tormented souls plagued by both their pasts and the current secrets that consume them, “That Beautiful Somewhere” follows two troubled individuals struggling to find meaning with their lives and a solution to their unbearable physical and mental anguishes. While the film expertly dissects the leads’ personalities and motives, it takes too long to delve into the complex character development, lingering on every moment until the poignancy is all but lost. No matter the degree of authenticity in the drama, the pacing is too grueling to allow the personae and story to remain effective.
Detective Conk Adams (Roy Dupuis) is assigned to help young archaeologist Catherine Nyland (Jane McGregor) discover the identity and cause of death of a mummified body, found in a local bog in the snowy depths of Canada. At first, he disregards the scientist’s notions of the bog’s curative powers and a supposed murder, but soon he grows to value and appreciate her reasoning and the time he spends with this unlikely assistant. After running several tests on the corpse, Catherine slowly begins to uncover its identity as she locates the truth behind the Native American healing rituals that may have led to its final resting spot. Wishing to use the curative powers of the bog herself, she convinces Conk to aid in tracking down a reclusive Indian who holds the last pieces of the puzzle – as well as the key to the shocking path that each investigator must eventually travel.
Majestically shot exteriors and snowy, forested scenery almost make up for the dragging pace the project so frequently adopts. While the presentation is top-notch, the film crawls at times in its failed attempts to arrive somewhere beautiful. In the quest to understand life, death, love, and sacrifice, the two characters build to the dramatic conclusion with great detail and concern, only to conflict drastically with the philosophies of the Native American medicinal customs and myths, giving such actions unconvincing influences on the characters’ ultimate decisions.
Roy Dupuis portrays the wary investigator with mature finesse and a gruff disposition, creating a performance as believable as it is compelling. Meanwhile, Jane McGregor can’t quite seem to capture the intensity of her better-suited counterpart. And veteran performer Gordon Tootoosis appears most comfortable of all in his typecast yet nevertheless worthy role. Acting aside, “That Beautiful Somewhere” exudes a flawed yet noble exploration of the human condition, revealing bits of absorbing emotions (including forgiveness and redemption) and uncommon ideals, even if its cumbersome execution and winding narrative will lose audiences long before its deeply moving finale.
– The Massie Twins