The Pilot's Wife (2002) Christine Lahti, Campbell Scott, Alison Pill, Kirsty Mitchell, John Heard Movie Review

The Pilot's Wife (2002)   2/52/52/52/52/5


Christine Lahti in The Pilot's Wife (2002)

Death of a Pilot

It is the middle of the night when a knock at a door wakes Kathryn Lyons (Christine Lahti) and she is met by Robert Hart (Campbell Scott) who says he works for the pilot's union and that her husband Jack (John Heard) has been killed when the plane he was piloting exploded near the coast of Ireland. In shock at the news and about to be inundated by men from the airline Kathryn also has to break the news to her daughter Mattie (Alison Pill). But with it beginning to look like a bomb caused the explosion Kathryn faces a line of questioning which makes her begin to question whether she really knew her husband as it seems he had been leading a double life for several years and may even have been involved with the IRA.

"The Pilot's Wife" is an adaptation of an Anita Shreve novel and whilst I have never read the novel I am hazarding a guess that on paper this story ended up much more gripping than this made for TV movie did. I say that because I like the idea of a wife who is initially in shock over the death of her husband is then confronted by revelations concerning his life which leads her to question the memories she has of him but also finding herself holding on to the belief that he isn't the bad guy others are making him out to be and sets about trying to prove his innocence, even flying to Ireland to do so having discovered even more secrets about her husband.

The trouble is that whilst "The Pilot's Wife" has this nice mystery and a lot of questions surrounding the pilot husband the movie itself feels incredibly mundane. It shouldn't be as there is drama, character struggles as well as revelations mixed in with flashbacks but it just plods its way through one scene after another never really bringing to life the revelations and drama. It is why I am convinced that the novel is probably a lot more exciting than this movie turned out.

One thing which "The Pilot's Wife" has is solid acting with both Christine Lahti and Alison Pill bringing the conflict to life in each of their characters as they deal with the situation differently. Unfortunately Campbell Scott ends up coming across as mundane as the movie although admittedly that does create a bit of mystery as to who he really is.

What this all boils down to is that "The Pilot's Wife" ended up a sadly mundane movie for me with a style which sucked the life out of the mystery and the story.


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