A critically acclaimed but seldom-screened thriller is returning to the big screen next month when a new 4K restoration of “Keane” opens at Film at Lincoln Center. Lodge Kerrigan’s intimate 2005 kidnapping drama, from executive producer Steven Soderbergh, has long been heralded as a taught, no-frills thriller that boasts a phenomenal early-career performance from Damian Lewis. In the past, cinephiles were only able to watch the original DVD release of the film, but the new 4K restoration from Grasshopper Film promises to show the film to new audiences while looking better than ever before.
The movie was a festival darling in 2004, premiering at the Telluride Film Festival and eventually screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Critics praised the film’s intensity, particularly Lewis’ unhinged performance and Kerrigan’s measured but nevertheless suspenseful directing style.
The film’s official synopsis from Grasshopper Film is as follows: “William Keane (Damian Lewis) is barely able to cope. It has been six months since his six-year-old daughter was abducted from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal while traveling with him. Repeatedly drawn to the site of the abduction, Keane wanders the bus station, compulsively replaying the events of that fateful day, as if hoping to change the outcome. One day he meets a financially strapped woman, Lynn Bedik (Amy Ryan), and her seven-year-old daughter, Kira (Abigail Breslin), at a transient hotel. Keane becomes increasingly attached to Kira and, in a harrowing climax, uses her in an attempt to fill the void left by his daughter’s disappearance.”
When the film was first released, Kerrigan famously explained that the idea for “Keane” came from his own fears about his daughter being kidnapped.
“I realized, how in just four minutes — four minutes! — your child could be abducted,” he said. “Your life could be changed forever and there would be no way to recover from it. I knew that kind of visceral feeling would be a good starting point.”
The new 4K restoration of “Keane” opens at Film at Lincoln Center on August 19. You can watch the trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.