Clay Pigeons

Clay Pigeons

directed by David Dobkin

starring Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn and Jeaneane Garofalo

A very dark comedy/thriller — a powerful opening scene with Earl and Clay (Joaquin Phoenix), two buddies out shooting beer bottles, when Earl points the gun at Clay and says “you’ve been sleeping with my wife.” Then Earl, who cannot go on living with the thought of his wife with another man, tells Clay that he is going to have some explaining to do and then shoots himself in the leg then the chest. Clay, who couldn’t figure a way to explain Earl’s death, manages to get rid of the body.

This is just the beginning of events that surround Clay in his town of Mercer, Montana. Next, Earl’s wife, Amanda (Georgina Cates), wants nothing more to do with Clay one minute and then will not leave him alone the next, tormenting Clay even more. It’s not long before there is another body for Clay to dispose of.

Now and then the bodies turn up just where Clay happens to be, like when Clay is fishing with his new friend Lester Long (Vince Vaughn) who exclaims “this is a new situation to me,” and leaves it to Clay to tell Sheriff Moody (Scott Wilson), who pleads with Clay “promise me you’ll stop finding dead people” after it is determined that Clay was sleeping with one, dating another, and just found a third.

But, dead people keep turning up and that brings in F.B.I. agent Dale Shelby (Janeane Garofalo), whose character is not dissimilar from Frances McDormand’s in Fargo.

This is a movie where every one fits their part to a “T” — there are sexual situations, plot twists, and surprises, and we will say no more. This is one quality movie with very high production values. First-time feature director David Dobkin uses location shooting to create the mood perfectly for each scene that brings with it a “film festival noir” atmosphere if intensity and suspense to local theaters.

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