The title in John Sayles new film describes much more significance than you would initially think. Sayles, director of such films as Lone Star and Men With Guns sets his latest film in Alaska. Alaska is a land caught in a state of limbo. It doesn't seem to be in the present, yet doesn't seem to be in the past. It is caught somewhere in the middle. Ravaged by the loss of business, people there do what they can in order to survive.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is Donna de Angelo, a lounge singer, moving from gig to gig with her daughter Noelle (Vanessa Martinez). Noelle has a part time job to help make ends meet. At the beginning of the movie, Donna breaks up the man she had been dating for a while. She announces this while singing at a wedding. David Stathairn is Joe Gastineau, and ex-fisherman who now does small odds and ends for two lesbians who just moved into the area. Because of something in his past, he is very reluctant to go back into the water and fish again. The rumor that Noelle hears is that he killed some people a long time ago. Both de Angelo and Gastineau are lonely, middle-aged adults, not sure of the future, and not too happy with their past. They are, in a state of limbo.

Limbo is really two movies. The first is the romance of de Angelo and Gastineau. They meet, and both are slow to warm up and get close to each other. When Gastineau's brother Bobby (Casey Siemaszko) shows up and asks Gastineau to accompany him on a boating trip, Gastineau invites Donna and Noelle. Here, the movie takes a turn for the dramatic. The second half of the movie deals with the events that take place after the boating trip is abruptly ended. Gastineau and the de Angelo's are thrust into another uncertain information, and the end of the movie is abrupt, and essentially leaves the audience in a state of limbo.

Sayles is known for his high quality of work. Limbo is no exception. Mastrantonio, Straithairn, and Martinez give good performances as peope unsure of how to deal with the events that happen around them. Kris Kristofferson also does a good job as Smilin' Jack, a local pilot. All of the characters in the movie are extremely believeable and fleshed out. Limbo is somewhat slow paced, but not boring (even though the average film goer may think so). But it is a film that works hard to come across on different levels, which is succeeds at.

Haro rates it: Not bad
2 hours, 6 minutes, Rated R for language.

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