And so they run. To a bank. To a party. To a roof. To an internet café. And look for subtext as you might, you will quickly see that this film is about as deep as the second half of Michael Bay's The Island, where ScarJo and Ewan McGregor just run and run and run. Except in Uncertainty, they stop running at one point and go to a movie. And then they talk about what they thought about the movie. And about the movie snacks. It was as if the director was standing off camera pulling his hands apart from one another and asking the actors to vamp just long enough to drag the film's rotting carcass over the 90-minute mark. That's why Kate and Bobby sleep on a roof and exchange dialogue such as, "We've been dating ten months." "That's not a long time." "But it feels like a long time." People, look alive, okay? The Russian mob is chasing you.
In the Q&A session after the movie, the film's directors and stars (always nice to see Gordon-Levitt up close...call me!) discussed the process of putting the film together. This is where we learned that the filmmakers went into the shoot with a fifty-page outline and that the actors then improvised the script. Not only is this what I would call "total lack of preparation," but it does explain why Uncertainty featured the most extraneous dialogue since Hilary Duff uttered lines like, "Oohh, it's windy," and "It smells like beef in here" in Material Girls. Note to the filmmakers: get a script. Finish it beforehand. Don't make me compare your festival film to a Hilary Duff movie. I don't need to see people badly ad-libbing action scenes. There's a reason actors pay for improv classes at the beginning of their careers.
You may have noticed I had nary a thing to say about the other Kate and Bobby the version of them that doesn't find a cell phone in a cab and try to extort $500,000 from the Russian mob. That's because those other two bitches leave Manhattan and don't do NOTHING.
Even the hardiest film festivalgoer might balk at the notion of a film described in the official TIFF '08 as, "[A]n allegorical fantasy about the Balkan nightmare seen through female eyes, in which meaningful lives are remade from scratch and the joys of life must be celebrated, even in the hardest of times." Let's recap some of the buzzwords that might keep you from attending this film: "Balkan." I think that brings us up to speed. So after a disastrous morning (for the makers of Uncertainty...it was actually a hilarious morning for us), we walked into a 9:45 p.m. screening of Tears for Sale with a bit of skepticism. And let's face it. A Serbian film with a title like Tears for Sale sounds more like a joke about a festival movie than the movie itself.