Two Small Bodies (1993) Kino Classics Blu-ray Review
Based on a stage play and designed like one for its cinematic treatment, the two-hander Two Small Bodies is incredibly artificial from a “realistic” standpoint, but it does give two solid actors an opportunity to showcase their chops.
Over the course of a week, a detective questions a single mother about where her children are, and whether or not she killed them.
Divorced mother Eileen (Suzy Amis) calls the police to report that her two young children are missing. A detective named Brann (Fred Ward) shows up, tired, weary, and bored. He questions her about their disappearance. She doesn’t seem too upset about it, which is suspicious. She claims the children disappeared from the bedroom after she got home from work at a strip club where she’s a hostess. Her descriptions are vague and inconclusive, and Brann’s questioning runs dry when it’s clear that the children won’t be found that night. He returns the next night and resumes questioning, pressing her a little harder with a tougher approach: He accuses her of killing her kids and asks her where she stashed the bodies. Eileen takes the questions in stride. Before long, Brann starts coming on to her with inappropriate touching, advances, and dialogue, and she allows his tactics to give him a sense of authority over her … until the dynamic between the two of them changes, and suddenly she’s dominating him with her sexuality. Brann is revealed to be a dissatisfied man, deeply unhappy and cynical, and whether or not Eileen is responsible for the disappearance (and possible deaths) of her children almost becomes irrelevant in this power play between two disparate people.
Based on a stage play and designed like one for its cinematic treatment, the two-hander Two Small Bodies is incredibly artificial from a “realistic” standpoint, but it does give two solid actors an opportunity to showcase their chops. Filmmaker and co-adapter Beth B flounders in her handling of the material, which would’ve benefited greatly by having some more cast members and a sense of reality, as it feels very canned and rehearsed. There’s no escaping these two unlikable characters, and it treats the possibility of child abduction and / or murder like an inconvenience, sidelined for its central theme of the power dynamics between the sexes. I’m a big Fred Ward fan, so it was worth watching once, but I’d likely never want to watch this again.
Kino Classics has just released a newly restored (to 5K) Blu-ray edition of Two Small Bodies. It comes with a new video interview with Suzy Amis and another one with Beth B, plus some trailers.