Complete Unknown

Trailer for Complete Unknown, starring Michael Shannon, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates and Danny Glover.

A mysterious woman with a remarkable past revisits a former lover, complicating the settled life he has built for himself and his wife, in Complete Unknown, an unsettling exploration of identity from acclaimed filmmaker Joshua Marston. As Tom celebrates his birthday with a group of close friends in Brooklyn, he is startled to see a woman from his distant past at the party. Jenny—or Alice, as she now calls herself—first denies even knowing Tom, but as the evening progresses, she reveals a shocking secret. After disappearing from Tom’s life 20 years earlier, she began to reinvent herself every few years, taking on a new name, a new career and a new life each time. After giving Tom a glimpse of what life could be like if he lets go of the safety and security he has so carefully created, Alice asks him to make a choice that will change everything.For a production requiring no VFX, it did take an extended amount of time between pre-production on November, 2014, to the film’s premiere at the 2016 . There also didn’t seem to be any bumps in the rode during the production process as well, considering Complete Unknown found its leads in Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz right at the beginning and went on to cast Kathy Bates and Danny Glover shortly after.

The film received modest reviews, with a 67% score at . Not exactly amazing, but it was enough to get IFC Films to come aboard to co-distribute the film with Amazon Studios.

Who else thinks that Complete Unknown feels a whole lot like , but without all the sex. And instead of as our identity-changing lady, we now have Rachel Weisz. But let’s go back to the part about sex, as this film feels way more boring without that plot element.

The trailer for Complete Unknown feels almost too honest. It perfectly describes the plot and the conflict that Michael Shannon’s character is now up against when his mysterious fling re-enters his life, but the preview also can’t build up any real interest. A story about a possible homewrecker who is still experiencing that teen-drama identity crisis? Yeah, not our idea of escape, and probably the reason the film had to go with a shotgun distribution through the premium network Amazon.
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