So here we go again, I am stumbling on another film about grief. It seems like I attract them, or it attracts me perhaps to help me deal with mine. in Marris Curran’s ‘Five Nights In Maine,’ Sherwin, played by David Oyowelo loses his wife FIona in a vehicular accident. We get a brief scene in the beginning of the two of them happily conversing as married couple do, and then we see bits and pieces of their life in flashbacks. Were they really happy, or were either of them harboring a dark secret? That question was asked by Lucinda, Fiona’s mom. We hear her leaving a message in Sherwin’s answering machine inviting him to go to Maine, and when he finally gets his wife’s ashes, he makes a trip. And then we see the two of them interact and there is some animosity but we do not know what is causing it. But perhaps that is not the point of the film, maybe this is just a film about a slice of life as people grieve about a loved one, and there really isn’t a need for a big reveal here, just two people with survivor’s guilt.
Oyowelo is great here, as he is able to essay that vulnerability without resorting to the obvious tricks like sentimentality or self-pity. And Wiest gives more layers to what is written on the page. I was a little bit on her side, even if perhaps I weren’t supposed to be. I am just glad she is getting work, as she is one of our greater actresses alive today (It looks like she lost a lot of weight, though) The movie is deceptively empty, but thereis a lot of subtlety here that can be deemed, especially from Oyowelo and Wiest’s performances.