TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2021 REVIEW! Written by Chris Sparling and directed by Phillip Noyce, Lakewood sports a simple premise, is set nearly in just a single location, and one character played by Naomi Watts, who is on the phone with many people for pretty much the entire duration of the movie!
Watts is Amy Carr, a widow with two kids who jogs in the forest every morning. Today’s run is definitely not a relaxing one as she is calling or receiving calls nonstop. First, it’s her parents at the airport, then a colleague who cannot do anything without Amy. Then her daughter forgot something at home and needs Amy to drop it off at school later, and some friends check up on her on the anniversary of her husband’s death. It is tense for Amy to navigate the arduous terrain while concentrating on her ever-growing to-do list, and viewers sense that something bad is bound to happen. So it does, as Amy learns that Lockwood has had a school shooting.
“…Amy tries to run to Lakewood as fast as possible, cutting through the dense, oppressive, wifi-less woodlands.”
From here, Amy tries to run to Lakewood as fast as possible, cutting through the dense, oppressive, wifi-less woodlands. Unfortunately, she can only do so much, especially with a dying battery, after spending soo much time on the phone instead of enjoying the beautiful scenery. Amy is naturally in shock, but she is resourceful and, thank goodness, has the right job or knows people in the right place to do some illegal stuff for the greater good. But seriously, who would not do the same if they could?
In addition, Lakewood cleverly adds little authentic details that seemed inspired by true stories (and sadly, there are too many) like Amy’s desperate call to a car shop’s employee near the vicinity of the accident to check that the car plates in the street are not from someone she knows. However, in the last act, the film undoes the realism it achieved by doing too much. Although who knows, if life on this planet has taught us anything, it’s that desperate times call for desperate measures, and people will surprise you in the best and worst ways possible.
"…will make you appreciate mobile phones even more..."