Its 5:32 pm
Review #253 was supposed to be “Beauty Queen” but just as I ready to publish it,a transformer blew up nearby and we lost power (and my review) for three hours.
So while I try and redo that review in my mind,I thought I would jot down some thoughts on a unexpected little gem called “The Keeping Hours” I picked up as a blind buy at Family Video.
Mark (Lee Pace) and Elizabeth (Carrie Coon) seem to have a great life,a cute little boy,Mark being a successful corporate lawyer. They live near the beach in a nice cozy house and are surrounded by family and friends. They also have a very cute son named Jacob (a very charming Sander Thomas) and when Mark and Elizabeth finally marry,Jacob is the ring bearer.
The wedding is wonderful and soon the young family is on its way to a honeymoon…that they never make.
Flash forward and we see Mark in a penthouse suite working out and getting ready for his day,its clear he lives alone. Just before he leaves for work,he gets word that the old house which he had been using as a rental property has been left in a mess as the renters had moved out and left it a mess.
Mark is upset and decides to just sell the house instead,he calls Elizabeth and tells her he is selling the house and if she wants to take items they have stored in the attic,she is welcome to too them.
On the way over,Mark visits his dad who has early dementia,his dad still has some clear memories but they are fading fast.
Mark pulls up to the house and sees the neighbor’s son running towards home…he enters the house and starts to clean and clear it. He hears noises and when he investigates,he sees Jacob clear as day…but that is impossible because Jacob has been dead for 7 years…
Stunned,Mark drives to Elizabeth’s home,she has remarried and has written a best selling book based on what happened to Mark and herself and how she came back from the depths of despair.
But Mark and Elizabeth did not part on good terms and she is upset to see Mark,she angrily tells him to sell the house,she wants nothing from it. Mark tries to explain what he has seen and Elizabeth dismisses him.
Mark is completely shaken and is distracted at work,he returns back to the house and shortly afterwards,Elizabeth also arrives. It turns out that while she was upset and didn’t seem to want anything,in truth,she does.
As the two start sorting through boxes,Jacob again appears and this time,Elizabeth sees him clearly…..how can this be happening and more importantly,why is it happening?
Did the cheetah and I like “The Keeping Hours”? Yes…..this is a completely different kind of ghost story and one,I have never seen before. Considering that “The Keeping Hours” comes from Blumhouse,the studio that is currently looked at as the “Studio of Horror”,the “The Keeping Hours” is anything but that and much praise has to go to Jason Blum for giving writer Rebecca Sonnenshine and directer Karen Moncrieff to tell this story of second chances.
The cast is excellent….while I know Lee Pace from from his wonderful work in “Pushing Up Daisies” and in “The Hobbit”,I had only just watched my first film with Carrie Coon two earlier in “Strange Weather” which featured Holly Hunter.
While I thought Coon was good in “Weather”,she is top drawer along with Pace in “Hours”. Both Pace and Coon convey all the emotions…both are bitter,both feel the other is at fault,especially Mark blaming Elizabeth for Jacob’s death directly. But the more the three interact as a family,the more the truth is revealed and its a stunning revelation.
Amy Smart has a small role as the neighbor but she sparkles in her screen time.
Both Mark and Elizabeth are completely believable as they begin to live as the family they could have been had not tragedy struck. When a child dies in a accident that should have never happened,not then but as time goes by,blame and bitterness often will poison and destroy a marriage. Rarely does a couple get a chance to relive what happened and see it with a open mind,”The Keeping Hours” does a wonderful and sensitive way of allowing the couple to rekindle what was once lost.
“The Keeping Hours” is rated PG-13 and has a run time of 1 hr and 34 minutes. There are no special features.
This is as about as gentle as an serious ghost story can get where as the soul is explored and the scares are left behind.
The cheetah and I gave “The Keeping Hours” a thumbs/paw straight up.