Review: Strange But True (2019)

Strange But True (2019)

Directed by: Rowan Athale | 96 minutes | thriller | Actors: Nick Robinson, Amy Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Brian Cox, Margaret Qualley, Connor Jessup, Blythe Danner, Janaya Stephens, Mena Massoud, Sarah Allen, Allegra Fulton, Dipal Patel, Darryl Flatman, Noah Denver, Christy Bruce, Tennille Read, Vanessa Burns

It will happen to you! Suddenly, Melissa (Margaret Qualley, ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’) is on the doorstep of Charlene (Amy Ryan) and Philip Chase (Nick Robinson) with the announcement that she is pregnant. But, and this is where it gets interesting/strange, she claims the child belongs to Ronnie, the son/brother who died on Prom Night five years ago.

Mother Charlene is skeptical and she shows Melissa the door. Brother Philip is a bit milder, he wants to take Melissa – who at an early age had an interest in the ‘lake between heaven and earth’ – at her word. Both set out to find the truth. Charlene does this by visiting her former employer, the library. Philip, following Melissa’s lead, visits a psychic. Or could there really be such a thing as Immaculate Conception?

Disowned by her deeply religious parents after her unplanned pregnancy, Melissa lives next door to Bill and Gail (old-timers Brian Cox and Blythe Danner), whom she’s adopted as stepparents. Gail finds out about Bill and from that moment on the bear is loose. And when Charlene learns that her ex-husband, doctor Richard (Greg Kinnear) is paying Melissa’s rent, the speculation starts to spread. But time heals all wounds, as when Philip appears in danger, the former spouses fight side by side to save him…

‘Strange But True’ features people searching for the truth: Charlene (why did her ex leave her and how could Melissa be pregnant with her late son?), Philip, who still grieves for his brother and lies about his leg injury . In between all the complications, the calm, thoughtful Melissa seems the most normal, despite her implausible pregnancy story. In the end, everyone speaks out and we see a different side of the main characters.

The film remains captivating until the end, despite the few stitches that director Rowan Athale drops. The script is also not completely watertight, but that should certainly not spoil the fun. All the actors put in credible performances with sour Ryan as the standout. ‘Strange But True’ is a very acceptable psycho-thriller with a cast to enjoy. Yes, weird but true. Some things are just hard to believe. A little strange, but nice…

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