Cold Weather

Cold Weather walks a fine and satisfying line between lo-fi comedy and detective fiction, while never quite giving in to either. Doug, an aimless former student of forensic science and aficionado of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, moves from Chicago back home to Portland, Oregon, eager to simplify his life with board games, semi-meaningful discussions, and a new vocation stacking bags of party ice. Just when everything seems perfectly quiet and pointless, a mystery shakes him from his slumber. But are the signs he's reading really evidence of foul play? Writer/director Aaron Katz's coy and funny thriller keeps audiences guessing, while sharpening his singular cinematic style. Indeed, despite association by some with the low-budget aesthetics of “mumblecore,” Katz's films (2006's Dance Party, USA and 2007's Quiet City) have also stood apart in their crispness, including their engaging performances, expert photography, and inventive sound designs. In the lead role, Cris Lankenau's slacker sleuth is especially charming, evincing more Bill Murray than Basil Rathbone. The story's humble setting, meanwhile, effortlessly mobilizes Katz's considerable wit and imagination. Katz is a seasoned, crafty filmmaker dedicated to doing more with less, and this film, like his others, will serve as a beacon and muse to indie filmmakers everywhere.

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