Directed by Jay Craven
Quad Cinema, opens May 11
The third in Jay Cravens trilogy of Vermont frontier films, Disappearances is at heart the story of a boy and his weirdo dad: Wild Bill (Charlie McDermott), who isnt wild, and Quebec Bill (Kris Kristofferson), who definitely isnt from Quebec. They live on a farm (presumably not very profitable, since Bill père spends his days cooking up schemes to seed the clouds), along with the prophetess-esque Aunt Cordelia (a dazed-looking Geneviève Bujold), who sees dead people and has a thing for Paradise Lost. When the barn that houses the family menagerie burns down in a lightning storm, the two embark on a bootlegging run across the Canadian border. The promised payoff? A cool grand, plus some requisite father-son bonding time. What might have been a pleasant exercise in nostalgia for Prohibition-era hijinks is ruined by phony mysticism and a too-intricate subplot involving the feral whiskey pirate Carajou (Lothaire Bluteau), who may or may not be Quebec Bills long-lost, long-hated dad. Kristofferson is charming, but he leans too heavily on his bad boy persona. McDermott, meanwhile, is fatally miscast; the tone and cadence of his eye-rolling Oh, Dads are pure 90s sitcom.