The Clearing

  • Robert Redford: Wayne Hayes
  • Helen Mirren: Eileen Hayes
  • Willem Dafoe: Arnold Mack
  • Alessandro Nivola: Tim Hayes
  • Melissa Sage Miller: Jill Hayes
  • Wendy Crewson: Louise Miller
  • Larry Pine: Tom Finch
  • Diana Scarwid: Eva Finch
  • Elizabeth Ruscio: Cindy Mack
  • Gwen McGee: Agent Kathleen Duggan
  • Sarah Koskoff: Lane Hayes
  • Graciela Marin: Graciela
  • Mike Pniewski: Detective Kyle Woodward
  • Geoff McKnight: John Dewitt

The Clearing ( The Clearing ) is an American- German film drama from the year 2004. He is the date (as of January 2010) the only film directed by Dutchman Pieter Jan Brugge, who has made a film producer a name ( Oscar nomination for the film insider ). The screenplay was written by Justin Haythe. The principles of action based on the kidnapping of the Dutch businessman Gerrit -Jan Heijn in 1987.


Wayne Hayes supposedly lives the American dream with his wife Eileen. Wayne is a successful entrepreneur who lives with his wife in a large villa, the children are grown and Wayne thinks of retiring. Only the long-standing marriage seems no big ups and downs more to offer and between the two, a certain routine and distance has formed.

One day, Hayes is kidnapped by Arnold Mack, whom he does not recognize at first. Hayes and Mack first met 12 years ago volatile know, when both worked for the same company - Hayes in a managerial position, Mack as a simple clerk; as Hayes soon left the company, pursued Mack, who lost his own job later, remotely via newspaper Hayes ' rising career.

The film follows two parallel storylines from now on. One strand follows the first day of the abduction, in which Wayne Hayes of Mack is led through the woods. The target Mack calls a cabin in the woods, will receive at the Hayes of accomplices. Swaying Along the way, between friendliness and hostility, the men talk about various topics, including their different career: Hayes has built up in his own words his whole career itself and has thus become successful and wealthy. Mack attempts a good income are to have failed, he is now unemployed and lives in the house of the unloved father; the kidnapping performs Mack to offer himself and his wife something better can. In their conversations Wayne also recognizes how much she means to him Eileen. He writes her a short love letter and asks Mack - in the direction indicated concern that the kidnapping could come to a bad end - send the letter to his wife.

The second plot line shows the house of Hayes ' days banging together to Wayne in the Eileen and their children had traveled. For them, two FBI agents are billeted to monitor day and night, the house can; they also ask the family for possible references to the or the kidnappers. The waiting wears down the family, but brings them one above the other new neighborhood and insights. In the interviews Eileen finds out that her husband is having an affair still lasted after he had allegedly ended. While Eileen is initially keen to let others notice nothing about the events and their feelings, she later meets the woman in question; afterwards, it reaffirms her love for her husband.

Over a week, the family receives no infallible sign of life from Wayne. As Eileen finally seems to hear him for a moment on the phone, she is willing to pay the requested ransom. Too late she realizes that the voice of a recording comes from: The ransom is gone, and she finds no evidence of the perpetrator or perpetrators.

Only now follows in the film the last scene of the first story arc, which so clearly out to be series of flashbacks: Wayne was shot on the very first evening of his kidnappers. Epilogähnlich shows how Mack repeatedly outputs 100 dollar bills with recorded serial numbers in the same supermarket; it falls on and is arrested by the FBI.

The end of the film is devoted to once again the relationship between Eileen and Wayne: Before his arrest, Wayne Mack had sent letter, and so Eileen now receives a final declaration of love of her husband.


The reviews were mixed as collecting his results on the reviews website Rotten Tomatoes (45% positive reviews ) Metacritic and show (60 /100 ). Many critics pointed out that the film does not offer the usual voltage thriller, this fact but assessed differently. Philip Martin of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the different opinions explained by the fact that the movie " European sensibility controlled (...), a fact that American moviegoers may frustrate that come with the expectation of something Grellerem [ something more flashy ] ". Chuck Wilson, LA Weekly described the film as " unsatisfactory as a crime story, but as a deeply moving meditation on marriage. "

Positive reviews praised the film for its plot and the actors. Ruthe Stein wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle of 2 July 2004, the film belongs to "clear" the best thrillers that would exploit the " subconscious fears " of the audience. His " brilliance " stems from the fact that different storylines are told in parallel; both are just as " captivating ". Stone praised the " subtle " representation of Helen Mirren and the " impressive " work of debuting as a director Pieter Jan Brugge.

Peter Travers praised in Rolling Stone magazine dated 16 June 2004, the performance of the actors. Willem Dafoe bring in his role the "Sound of vulnerability " while Helen Mirren is a " moving portrait of the loving wife " offer, which was hurt by her husband's infidelity. The play of Robert Redford leg hold " quiet, captivating intensity ."

The lexicon of international film wrote, the film is an " oppressive, excellently played and staged sociogram ". He draw " a subtle society" who " in the networks of their own ideologies catches and idles ".

Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times looked into his positive criticism, the love between Wayne and Eileen Hayes as the " heart of the film " and praised that the film is " dare all three main roles with actors over 40 " to be filled.

Negative reviews complained about especially the lack of voltage. Although Anthony Lane of the New Yorker praised Mirren's presentation, but the movie was for him " a every thrill deprived Thriller -. , Or worse, a thriller that thinks of itself, somehow the vulgar pleasures of excitement to be exalted " Philip Wuntch ruled by the Dallas Morning News, " the script, the directing and the performances show obvious intelligence. But intelligence can be boring [ dull ] if it is not mixed with wit and excitement. "

According to their estimation, it lacks tension, several critics felt the film as a dialogue- heavy. So described him Bob Bloom of Journal and Courier (Lafayette ) as " in an ocean of talkativeness [ drowning ]. "


The film was shot in Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Asheville ( North Carolina). It had its world premiere in January 2004 at the Sundance Film Festival; the publication in selected cinemas in the United States followed from July 2, 2004., where the film grossed approximately 5.76 million U.S. dollars.