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2009 Film Festival - 'Missing Person'

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 18, 2009 -  When dealing with film noir, young directors sometimes press too heavily on the irony button, but Noah Buschel gets the mix of gritty drama and genre-based humor just right with his private eye feature, "Missing Person."

He is blessed with a fine performance by Michael Shannon (the crazy neighbor in "Revolutionary Road") in the lead role of Michael Rosow, a rumpled, eternally hung-over investigator paid a suspiciously large amount to follow a man and a small boy by train from Chicago to LA. Of course, the train trip is just the beginning of Rosow's troubles, and little will turn out to be as it seems. Kudos to Buschel and cinematographer Ryan Samul for using effective long takes, taking the time for the story to unfold and the characters to develop, and for appropriately shooting many of the scenes in the dark. (Saves on sets, too.) "Missing Person," which co-stars the superb Amy Ryan, is a winner. -- Reviewed by Harper Barnes | Special to the Beacon