One could say the same right back, because the absence of movie stars in the microbudget indie — now showing only at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial — places the audience in as precarious a position as its protagonists: With no comfortable faces to latch onto, whom you know will lead you toward a happy ending, you’re completely in the dark. Just what the hell is going to happen?
Unpredictability: In this instant-spoiler age, it’s a rare, wonderful thing.
Even I, who sees a dozen movies each week, knew not where Sound of My Voice was going, and it was an absolute delight to be so unnerved.
Christopher Denham (Shutter Island) and Nicole Vicius ((500) Days of Summer) play documentary filmmakers investigating a suburban-basement cult led by Maggie (Marling, who co-wrote with debuting director Zal Batmanglij), a 20-something blonde who’s hooked up to an oxygen tank and claims to be from the year 2054.
Much as Marling casts a spell on her followers, she also enchants the audience, drawing viewers into Voice’s narrative trap like a spider to a fly. Without revealing details, Marling pulled the same kind of brainy, sci-fi stunt in last year’s imperfect, but intriguing Another Earth, but Voice is the far superior work.
Two weeks after seeing it, I’m still haunted by it, still thinking about it, still trying to wrap my head about the questions it purposely leaves open. While not for everybody’s tastes, it is, for me, the best film 2012 has offered thus far. —Rod Lott