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Flightplan (2005) Jodie Foster

Thumbs up to Jodie Foster, she is excellent in Flightplan. This tense thriller fits nicely in the “suspense” genre.

Kyle Pratt (Jodie Foster) is taking her dead husband home. During the opening credits, we see Pratt at an international airport, approaching her husband’s open casket. She will return to the United States with her young daughter and her husband’s remains. An innocent promise she makes to her anxious child leads to a terrifying and traumatic flight for the new widow. If you can forget that Pratt is allowed to roam the plane at will, you will find a heck of a movie.

Pratt’s daughter Julia portrayed by a talented young actress, Marlene Lawston, goes missing soon after the plane takes flight. The thing is no one remembers seeing the child and her mother cannot find her boarding pass. Therefore, the rationale is that the child did not arrive with her mother. The Captain (Sean Bean) receives a message from Germany that Julia died at same time her father David did. Thus, the Captain and his crew are convinced that there is no child on board the plane. At one point, a Flight Attendant says to a distraught Pratt, "My nieces hate when I play hide and seek with them because I always find them." Pratt understands the innuendo, but knows what she knows, that her daughter is missing. The other passenger’s emotions range from sympathy, disbelief or annoyance. Peter Sarsgaard is Carson the air marshal assigned to help calm Pratt and to keep her quiet. Coincidently, Pratt is jet propulsion engineer and helped to design the plane she is on. She tries to remain calm as she begins to search the plane by herself. Her panic grows as she searches the bowels of the plane for her missing child.

Foster’s character is strong and intelligent. You watch as she searches the aircraft in a systematic way that grows more frantic as crawls through tunnels and breaks open doors, looking for Julia. But is the child a figment of Pratt’s imagination brought on by the shock of the death of her husband and daughter?

Jodie Foster is a fine actress and has portrayed a wide range of characters from "Silence of the Lambs", "Somersby" and "The Accused" to Anna and the King. "Flightplan" has the same intensity of Foster's 2002 movie "Panic Room", in which she stars as a terrified mother who hides in a room with her daughter as three men search for money they believe is in somewhere in the house. The room that was supposed to be a safe place has turned into a prison cell.

Flightplan and Panic Room (2002) are available from Amazon.

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