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“Missing” is a taut political thriller from director Costa-Gavras.  It’s about the disappearance of American Charles Horman (John Shea) in Chile after a military coup topples the government and leaves the nation in a violent conflict.  People routinely get executed on the street while hundreds of others simply vanish.  Horman’s wife (Sissy Spacek) begins a frantic search for his whereabouts while soliciting help from her none-to-pleased father-in-law (Jack Lemmon).

The film follows the true life case of the Horman’s and their ordeal with the Chilean and American governments.  The Horman’s were given numerous excuses and delays pertaining to Charles Horman’s whereabouts.  Primarily the film is about Lemmon and Spacek’s characters trying to deal with one another and their inherent distrust of the other.  He’s a button downed, Christian Science follower who believes his son and wife to be little more than drifting bohemians.  He can’t stand their rejection of the American way of life.  Spacek resents his demeaning and close minded nature and tries to open his eyes to who his son really is and what they hope to accomplish by living the way they do.  The relationship here is an uncommon one and the dynamics of it are both gradual and compelling.  It’s a worthy movie in many ways.  While numerous dramas from the 80’s have taken on an air of the dated, “Missing” still feels relevant and compelling.


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