A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
"Silent Fall" is a thriller about an autistic little boy who witnesses the murder of his parents. He'd make a great witness, if only he would talk. I was reminded of a TV report I saw recently about a parrot that witnessed a murder. The parrot talked, but was it admissible as a witness? Psychiatrist Jack Reiner (Richard Dreyfuss), uses a deck of cards while explaining the boy to his older sister Sylvie (Liv Tyler). Let's say the solution to the murder is the Queen. You or I might be reminded of it by a million things. But Tim can only get to the Queen from the Jack. And he can only get to the Jack from the 10.
And so on, all the way back to the Ace - which is, in a sense, what the psychiatrist is searching for.
"Silent Fall" approaches this story in a solemn way, in one of those productions where everybody lives in big houses surrounded by autumnal woods, and spends a lot of time walking by the sides of lakes. The Dreyfuss character has retired from treating children after a child died while under his care. Now he's hauled out of retirement by the local sheriff (J.T. Walsh, playing a nice guy for a change).
The parents of Sylvie and Tim have been found brutally slashed to death in their bedroom. When the cops arrive, Tim is swinging a bloody knife and Sylvie is cowering in the closet. She saw the killer, a man who escaped before she could ID him.