Out of the Blue is, on the surface, a crime drama, about an apparently motiveless murder that harks back to a serial-killer whose last victim was three decades ago.
Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson) is the unconventional New Orleans cop, whose investigation plays out like some gigantic double-slit experiment, in which the whole world appears to change as she observes it.
While the plot telegraphs its intentions fairly early on, Carol Morley’s deft direction wonderfully captures Hoolihan’s increasingly confused mind-set, in which her unconsciously remembered past frequently becomes superimposed over modern-day reality. It’s a nice conceit, bolstered by some superb performances—especially Jacki Weaver’s baby-doll materfamilias.
But, for all its fine qualities, Out of the Blue doesn’t quite hit the mark. The story unfolds without any real sense of threat or drama. Potentially fascinating characters never get more than a few scenes in which to shine. And Mamie Gummer’s murder victim, is so poorly defined that we care little for her untimely death or what lead to it.
Out of the Blue is a film that oozes neo noir style but is sadly lacking in any real substance.