Countless films starring Gary Oldman could be summarized as so: Not too great, but Gary Oldman’s performance is fantastic. His ability to churn out one convincing character after another, in countless scenarios, has established him as one of the most versatile actors out there, and one always worth watching. That said, Track 29 falls into that aforementioned of Gary Oldman films; we get a focused, nuanced performance from Oldman as a mysterious young man whose obsession with a woman he believes to be his mother is both his deepest desire and her conflicted fantasy. He steals the show with each scene, but to be fair he has very little competition thanks to Theresa Russell pouring the melodrama on thick and a great, but mostly absent Christopher Lloyd.
Meet Linda Henry (Russell), the unsatisfied housewife to surgeon Henry Henry (Lloyd). Yes, that’s really his name. Both husband and wife harbor no illusions about what they’re marriage has become. She spends all day at home doing whatever she wants, while he goes to work, flirts with nurses, and then returns home for a night spent tinkering with his model trains before falling to sleep with no hint of sexual desire for his wife. The relationship is in shambles, and Linda’s desires to breathe new life into it by mothering a child are shot down because of a tragic history neither of them likes to remember. Things become complicated on that front when Martin (Oldman) arrives on their doorstep from his home in the UK to seek out his biological mother who gave him up when she was just a teenager. He believes he knows her identity, and it’s none other than Linda. As the two talk more, the strangeness of their possible relationship grows and it soon becomes unclear whose fantasy is being indulged: Martin’s desire to meet his mother or Linda’s desire to have a child.
DVD Bonus Features
Though there’s nothing in the way of extras, there’s an odd quirk to the disc that needs to be addressed. For whatever reason, it seems like Image, the DVD distributor, has seen fit to paste a few of the classic trailers for other 80s films in front of the menu screen. Most of the movies star Bob Hoskins, and the trailers look like they were ripped from a VHS copy. Why these were included, we may never know.
"Track 29" is on sale February 21, 2012 and is rated R. Drama. Directed by Nicolas Roeg. Written by Dennis Potter. Starring Christopher Lloyd, Gary Oldman, Theresa Russell.