DRAMA; MA, 1hr 39min
STARRING: Reef Ireland, Kerry Fox, Tom Green
Deep waters: Ireland
The bruise-dark Downriver takes a blunt instrument to a tough subject with the grim, diminished existence of ex-con James (a tensely muted Ireland), who has been doing time in a juvenile facility for the drowning of a 10-year-old boy. The body was never recovered, and James, an epileptic, can't recall the details of the crime.
Released into the dead end of his childhood riverside trailer park, James also can't let bygones be. He's racked and damaged—physically, in his psyche and in his relationship with his beset mother (Fox). Plus, he's convinced that his erstwhile, poisonous lover, Anthony (Green), is guilty of the crime. Which he might well or might well not be: Anthony isn't inclined to give up any secrets, and neither is the river, whose pull is still cold and strong.
Filmmaker Grant Scicluna's oblique debut feature prickles with assured menace through which deep waters ripple like a liquid crypt. They're where James's story begins and ends when the sins of his undone past bleed into his ambiguous present.