Jennifer Jason Leigh
The Moment (NR)
Suspense/Thriller 92 min. June 20, 2014
In lesser hands, some of the more traditional thriller plot elements that follow -- did Lee kill her ex-boyfriend? Did her jealous, impulsive daughter? Is he even dead? -- could come off as trite or overwrought. And some of the story plays slightly like Vertigo with the genders reversed.
What's fresh is Weinstock's interweaving of flashbacks, slightly altered versions of flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks, so that viewers must work as hard as Lee to determine past from present; you may feel amnesiac yourself by film's end. Leigh is an alarmingly chameleonic actress, sinewy and haggard one minute, soft and wounded the next, and Shawkat is an adept student of her mannerisms. The generally somber film even manages some comic relief: casting Meat Loaf, shorn of his Viking warrior locks, as a no-nonsense, pitiless detective.