The Cry of the Owl

Film Review by Scotty McKellar | 05 Apr 2010
  • Cry of the Owl
Film title: The Cry of the Owl
Director: Jamie Thraves
Starring: Paddy Considine, Julie Stiles, Karl Pruner
Release date: 19 Apr 2010
Certificate: 15

This low-key adaptation of one of Patricia Highsmith’s lesser-known stories finds a troubled divorcee (Considine) becoming obsessed with a pretty young woman who lives in an isolated farmhouse nearby. Discovering him watching her in her garden one evening, the tables are turned when instead of calling the police she invites him in and they begin a curious friendship. But when her jealous and unstable boyfriend gets involved, it sets off a chain of events that threatens to destroy them both. Highsmith has always defined her female characters in shorthand and on film Julia Stiles’ Jenny suffers somewhat as we’re never really sure what’s driving her. She’s a romantic and somewhat melancholy, but other than that we don’t learn anything about her and it’s the weakest link in an otherwise satisfying adaptation. It’s very faithful to the original material but it’s just not the strongest of Highsmith’s stories and the lack of excitement may be too offputting for some. [Scotty McKellar]