Denial (1990)

Director: Erin Dignam
Writing Credits: Erin Dignam
Cast: Robin Wright, Jason Patric, Barry Primus, Christine Harnos, Rae Dawn Chong, Rosalind Chao and David Duchovny.
Music by: Harold Budd
Genre: Drama
Budget: $800,000
Release Date: January 21, 1990 (Sundance Film Festival) | September 19, 1991 (USA Video Premiere)
Filming Dates: 14 December 1987 – January 1988
Filming Locations: Mendocino, California, USA
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 103 minutes
Plot: Sarah (Robin Wright) and Michael (Jason Patric) are lovers. She is loving and playful and has many actor friends. He has no one but her, and his jealousy. When he leaves her, she is unable to forget him. He becomes her sickness, her obsession…, the one that still have the power to bestir her.

“Between Love and Madness… Between Desire and Obsession… Between a Man and a Woman…”

DENIAL is a deeply affecting psychological study of Sarah (Robin Wright), affectionately called Loon by her friends and imprisoned in a wounded memory.

For Loon escape provides no liberation. Having left her home and a tumultuous relationship with Michael (Jason Patric), she finds a haven in the borne of Jay (Barry Primus) and his daughter Sid (Christine Harnos). However, the memories of her college years with Michael cling to her, reminding her that the woman she is, and the woman she thought she wanted to be, have both been shaped by him. When a former classmate, Julie (Rae Dawn Chong), reenters her life, she more than ever feels the anguish of memory. However, through Julie’s films of their college days, Loon begins to learn that the past need not hold her.

Director Erin Dignam weaves a graceful drama which has presence. Brooding, delicate and fifed with uncertainty, this is a difficult work that demands our concentration. Loon delineates an internal drama rarely attempted and even less often successfully achieved. Robin Wright contributes a remarkable, penetrating performance that epitomizes the director’s concerns, capturing Loon at two completely different periods of her life with astounding depth and complexity. So remarkable is the difference between the younger and the older Loon, physically as well as psychologically, it is as if a sister had been called in to play the younger part.

Reynaldo Villalobos’s cinematography is careful, with an effective use of natural and white light. Working in harmony with the picture is the minimal score by Harold Budd. Probing distantly, this music is unsettling and unresolved. Ms. Dignam integrates the cinematic elements to move the film from cool detachment to empathy. Loon is a work that will linger in one’s memory due to its integrity, intelligence and courage.

DENIAL Trailer:

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