Directed by Edward Burns. US. 2006.

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Ed Burns is that rare sort of writer-director currently in the US independent scene. He made his name directing a fascinating self-penned (semi-autobiographical) ‘The Brothers McMullen’ which looked at the father-son relationship from the Irish-American contingent of New York - his continual home and prime location.

While the current political landscape may not allow people to care about those immigrants any longer; Burns continues to concentrate on the Irish man and their lives and the effect of women (‘She’s The One’) and religion (‘Ash Wednesday’) using convoluted multi-plot narratives. But what is so surprising is that where a writer-director should increase his scope of vision and voice, Burns seems stuck in what he knows best.

In ‘Kitty’ he has a small outline akin to film noir - a beleagured seemingly boring husband wants to find his missing wife, Burns plays the detective hired to find her. What develops is a friendship between two very different men who although both looking for the same women are looking for the different things; one for love, one for pride and they find the meaning of belonging and acceptance of their roles.

The detective has his own past (his wife died) and these moments of introspection for Burns where he grieves are enlightening and shocking full of memories of loss and clouded by regret. It is reminiscent of European independent cinema - the loner who lives alone, avoids communication and social contact (he does not like to eat indoors not wanting people to watch him), this is reflected by the bleak cinematography and colour spectrum.

Credit must go to David Krumholtz who plays Abe, the husband, weighed down by a silly moustache and zero personality, he blossoms over the short running time - he starts to like coffee, finds a friend and realises his true feelings for his wife (who wants a divorce).

Burns’ often the quiet one in his films takes the role of the not-so-reliable detective and becomes the big brother dispensing useful advice to Abe with words of clarity and common sense.

The film itself is short and yet at times meanders but if you are looking for a typical US indie cinema - Burns is around and much like Lee and Smith he is comfortable doing what he does and will remain. 

Jamie Garwood
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