Of all the relationships portrayed in film, the brother-sister angle is one of the lesser explored and often more interesting. Classic titles such as SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, FANNY & ALEXANDER, SAY ANYTHING, YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS are all movies that delve into the unique and complicated interplay that goes into a brother-sister relationship.
Aaron Katz is the latest writer-director to tackle this particular brand of sibling love (and hate) in COLD WEATHER. A self-styled Sherlock Holmes leads an unlikely team of irregulars in this charming comic mystery from indie auteur Aaron Katz. After abandoning a promising academic career in forensic science, aimless Doug (Cris Lankenau) returns to Portland to live with his more responsible big sister Gail (Trieste Kelly). He easily lands a dead-end job working in an ice factory, but his latent passion for detective work is stoked when his ex-girlfriend, Rachel (Robyn Rikoon) goes missing.
Armed with a handful of arcane clues and a vast knowledge of the world of Sherlock Holmes, Doug enlists Gail and co-worker Carlos (Raúl Castillo) in a ramshackle investigation that draws the slacker sleuths into Portland’s underground. What they discover is a complex trail of clues, leading them increasingly close to the discovering the mysterious truth about Rachel.
After dropping out of college in Chicago, Doug returns home to rainy Portland, Oregon to live with his more stable and responsible sister, Gail. Unsure of what to do next, Doug spends his days sleeping until noon and rereading old detective novels, while Gail goes about the daily routines of her quiet life. Eventually Doug manages to find a job working the night shift at an ice factory. There he meets Carlos, a longtime employee who moonlights as a DJ. Carlos is initially skeptical of Doug-he’s seen all kinds of people pass through the job-but the two become friends after Doug lends him a copy of his favorite book, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Doug has not quite settled into his new life when Rachel, his former girlfriend from Chicago, arrives in town. Doug is wary of her, but he introduces her to Carlos and Gail. Later, when Rachel fails to turn up one night, Carlos is convinced something has happened to her. At first Doug and Gail think that he has read too much Sherlock Holmes, but soon they too start to suspect foul play. With Doug in the lead, relying largely on expertise gained from years of reading detective novels, they set out to investigate. What they discover is a complex trail of clues, leading them closer and closer to the mysterious truth about Rachel.
COLD WEATHER is simultaneously a story of a brother and sister getting to know each other after years apart and a mystery in the great tradition of crime and detective fiction. Total Running Time: 97 minutes.
Starring Cris Lankenau / Trieste Kelly Dunn / Raúl Castillo, Robyn Rikoon
Written, Directed, and Edited by Aaron Katz
Story by Aaron Katz / Brendan McFadden / Ben Stambler
Produced by Lars Knudsen / Brendan McFadden / Ben Stambler / Jay Van Hoy
Cinematography by Andrew Reed
Production Design by Elliott Glick
Original Score by Keegan DeWitt
Distributed by Sundance Selects
97 MINUTES / 2010 / USA / COLOR / 1.78 / Stereo / HDCAM