Josh Lucas (unnamed in the film – except for “Young Mariner”) stars in his first dramatic lead in this rather stunning, overly metaphorical and imperfect film. His performance is hugely successful. Hide Away (originally titled A Year in Mooring) is a tale of redemption and the film does not survive the clichés of the genre, but barely so. The mysterious supporting characters speak primarily in metaphor and poem referring to the grand Traverse (the film is beautifully shot on the waters of Traverse City in Northern Michigan), Hesperus (Lucas’ boat) and with rather direct hints at Buddhism.
Young Mariner has lost something and we know up front that it’s his family but we don’t find out how until about 2/3 of the way through the film in a short powerful sequence that adds weight and purpose to the narrative. The film is like a Nocturne, dreamlike with little exposition.
Its 1 and ½ hours equates to the 1 and ½ years that Young Mariner must pass through to achieve said redemption. The soundtrack is the personal stamp of its director, Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals, Edge of America). Critics have been surprisingly harsh on a film during a time when so much comic book tripe is being released.
**** / *****