Ray's Review: The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall

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Rating: B

If you are a fan of watching movies about reclusive artists, then we have another flick for you. The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall hits AMC Studio 30 March 2nd and it is an interesting and dark flick.  The film tells the story of Sidney Hall, a successful writer who wrote a very controversial book back in high school which reached amazing success. Despite his newfound popularity the subject matter of the book, which tells the story of the death of one of his classmates, brings him anything but happiness.  As his world starts to fall apart Sidney disappears from society altogether. Ten years later a determined detective who is looking into a string of small arsons starts to unravel the mystery of The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall. 

This story is actually a pretty interesting one to watch unfold. Logan Lerman takes on the role of our lead, Sidney and Kyle Chandler steps into the shoes of the detective who is seeking him out. Elle Fanning plays the part of Sidney's longtime girlfriend and Michelle Monaghan plays Sidney's less than delightful mom. The film is big on showing you how creativity can burst out of you despite coming from a really crappy situation in life. Sidney's mom is kind of an emotional nightmare and his dad is almost always mentally checked out leaving Sidney to fend for himself. He starts high school as a very talented but controversial writer with dreams of a career in writing. Sadly this begins to play out like many have said, "Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it." When a bad situation leads Sidney to write this highly controversial book, he sees great success from it. With support from his teachers and girlfriend, he rising through the ranks to being the next Salinger. The problem is that he seems constantly plagued by sadness no matter what is happening to him. As the story unfolds and we start learning the truth about much of the story everything takes a dark turn. 

There is something hauntingly beautiful about films like these. I don't know if it is the fact that it would be really easy to see this as being a true story, from the way it was written, this could almost feel like something you would see on the next edition of 20/20. Lerman and Fanning bring enough sadness and realness to their characters to pull you into the story. Once you start watching this it makes you want to know more until you finally get to the ugly center of the story, the truth. Director Shawn Christensen has given us a pretty interesting watch for an on-demand film. Despite a slight drag, in the beginning, the film had good pacing and was intriguing to watch. We scored The Vanishing of Sidney Hall with a B. The film is far from perfect, but it is still a pretty good watch.

Don't miss The Vanishing Of Sidney Hall playing at the AMC Studio 30 starting March 2nd. 

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