Red Knot, is an compelling love story from first time writer/director Scott Cohen. It explores isolation and the classic theme of the greatest unknown is still the heart.
Starring Olivia Thirlby, Vincent Kartheiser, Billy Campbell, set in the icy waters between the bottom of Argentina and the arctic, Red Knot is not only alluring; it’s beautifully played out.
Cohen, a photographer by trade, uses his trained lens to paint the film in the majesty of the whites and blues of the arctic pallet. While Thirlby and Kartheiser stage their ill-fated romance in the foreground.
The plot centers around Peter (Kartheiser) and Chloe (Thirlby), newly weds, embarking on a life changing voyage to Antarctica. Peter is a writer, whose career and ego rely on making it the south pole. Chloe, his young wife, quickly learns that she possesses less of Peter’s heart than she wants to admit. As the trip lengthens, Peter is consumed with his book and impressing the ships other more esteemed patrons. Leaving Chloe more isolated, chasing her affections into the steely gazes of Captain Emerson (Billy Campbell).
Speaking of Thirlby, above the breathtaking cinematography, she is the undeniable star here. She makes a huge leap here from her previous roles in Juno, The Darkest Hour, and Dredd. Her portrayal is bold; her stock defiantly rises.
Kartheiser’s Peter, is similar to his Peter on Mad Men, but without the style and pop. He’s great, but this ground he’s covered before. Campbell, is perfect as the distant sea captain with good looks.
Cohen’s has a gentle touch, he lets the characters blend into the arctic landscape, the ship, though they are the vanguard; they are part of the steel hull, the glacier, the crowd of passengers. He leaves much to our imagination in terms of the dialogue, our characters chiefly express feelings through glances or subtle gestures. Words are a luxury.
The final scenes of Red Knot are poetic, kind, and gracious. Our young married couple, alone, in the great mystery of the arctic, embracing the unknown.
Red Knot, is a travelogue with a heart, and big questions about loneliness in this modern age. This is an art house diversion, but grounded enough for casual viewers. Book your ticket on this Voyage.