A Little Trip To Heaven (2005)
Forrest Whittaker, Julia Stiles. Dir = Baltasar Komakur.
Whittaker is an insurance investigator in some cold and bleak rural town that looks like it could be anywhere from North Dakota to Kansas in winter, but actually it was shot in Iceland. There is a car crash in which the driver is burned to a crisp and he had a million dollar policy payable to his impoverished wife, Stiles. Whittaker is trained to look for fraud and he slowly unravels a mystery that uncovers a murder. (This is not giving it away, because we see the murder set up by the bad guy in the opening). In the end, the details of who did what to whom and for what reasons, are so tricky that I couldn’t follow. Anyway, I don’t see how proving it was a murder would save the insurance company any money, unless they had a murder exclusion clause in the contract. The movie is beautifully photographed and the sets are perfect. The decrepit farmhouse with mold growing on sickly green walls is wonderfully creepy. The acting is first class, especially by Stiles. Whittaker, you expect to be good, and he is. This is an obscure little independent movie but it should be around now that Whittaker has won an Oscar. It’s worth looking for.