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Lost & Found Movie Review

Irish filmmaker Liam O Mochain, who is known for his ambitious projects (see 1999's "The Book That Wrote Itself") has stayed true to form with his most recent endeavor, "Lost & Found." Self-financed by the writer-director-star, "Lost & Found" was filmed over the course of five years in Portarlington, Ireland, with an additional two years for post-production.

The film is composed of seven loosely-connected vignettes that tell stories of something either lost or found, usually in the emotional sense. We see the first day of work for Daniel - played by O Mochain - at the Lost & Found office of a small Irish train station. The day's events ultimately connect to a variety of characters and stories, including an older man at the station regularly begging for change for a ticket, a surprise wedding proposal gone awry at an airport, Daniel's hunt for his family's long lost treasures in rural Poland, a woman unexpectedly paying her respects to a deceased acquaintance, Daniel's uncle's constant efforts to rebrand his pub, and a bride determined to have the perfect wedding.

The main link throughout each is Daniel. He's a likeable everyman who at times is depicted as a bit dense, but always shows himself to be caring, generous, and rather funny. Each vignette is engaging in its own right (O Mochain released the second, "Ticket to Somewhere," as a short film in 2015) and makes for an enjoyable and easy watch, so this is almost more of a collection of short films rather than a feature. That turns out to be the main shortfall of the film, as the overall script would have been better served with more focus on the project as a whole.

Each of the stories is interesting enough on their own that they could have been drawn out into full features, but the connections to the main story are sometimes tenuous at best. The two featuring Liam Carney ("Gangs of New York") as the old man in the train station begging for money are emotionally poignant and good reminders that not everything is as it seems on the surface, but they are so tangential to the overall plot that they would have been better served in their own feature.

The true delight in the film is its tone, which manages to stay earnest, light, and humorous despite touching on some very bleak topics. Each story was inspired by something that happened to O Mochain, or to someone he knows, and as a result each character feels as though O Mochain is personally introducing us to a friend of his. Whether they are a recurring character or appear on screen for just the one scene, each person has a certain amount of depth and vaguely reminds you of someone you have known in the past.

Overall, O Mochain has put together a very enjoyable film. This is a project that he clearly poured himself into and it shows. I am looking forward to what he comes out with next.



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