Joseph Gordon-Levitt exceeds expectations in this dramatic performance. Based on the simple concept of flipping a coin to resolve their uncertainty on which side of the Brooklyn Bridge to spend their Fourth Of July, Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins simultaneously live out the two resulting scenarios. The first leads them to a quiet afternoon with Kate’s (Collins) family, doused in a color scheme of green to keep the corresponding occurrences visually distinguishable. The second situation, represented with a yellow-shaded color scheme, sends the couple on the run from dangerous business people following the discovery of a mysterious cell phone in a taxi. From the start, we are privy to the fact that there is much more to their unresolved indecision than choosing a holiday destination. Kate is pregnant, and neither she nor Bobby (Gordon-Levitt) has any insight as to where their priorities lie.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has transcended the days of his “3rd Rock From The Sun” performances and even the quirky, fidgeter he became known for in “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Angels In The Outfield.” Gordon-Levitt has grown into a man. With that comes this tremendous actor worthy of award nominations, able to go from carrying small films like “Uncertainty” to fit perfectly into the big box office blockbuster “Inception.”

Lynn Collins proves herself meaningful in the leading actress role. Having never taken charge in any previous parts, she comes off as a new starlet when she has appeared in everything from “50 First Dates” to “The Number 23.” In “Uncertainty,” she takes the role of the ambivalent expecting mother and runs with it (at some points in the film, quite literally). The version of the day spent with Kate’s family is Collins’ acting playground, showcasing her character. There, she succeeds in expressing the relevant conflict with her mother breathing down her neck about her uncertain future and her sister (Olivia Thirlby) wanting to follow in her footsteps.

The visuals of “Uncertainty” are striking and apparent throughout the film. The color schemes are a nice touch in today’s age of glossing over with such equivocal design. The tone matches the blue tint of the film. Not only is color vibrant in the movie, but the shots speak loudly. Take any still from the film, and it appears cinematic, proving the importance of each image.

“Uncertainty” has the feel of an independent film. The inclusion of Joseph Gordon-Levitt creates a higher caliber experience and ultimately makes the film worth more than most indie films that lack star power. Though “Uncertainty” leaves you without concrete answers, uncovering the character’s intentions by the film’s conclusion is relatively straightforward. Take a chance with Scott McGehee & David Siegel’s first directorial endeavor in over five years (“Bee Season” being the last in 2005).

November 13, 2009

Scott McGehee
David Siegel

Scott McGehee
David Siegel

IFC Films


105 minutes

Rain Li

Peter Nashel

Paul Zucker

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Lynn Collins
Assumpta Serna
Olivia Thirlby

Scott McGehee
David Siegel

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