Lost & Found Review
Separate stories share a common universe in Liam O Mochain's 'Lost & Found.'
Release Date: April 19, 2019
MPAA Rating: NA
Seven interconnecting stories set in and around a lost and found office of an Irish train station.
Director: Liam O Mochain
Screenwriter: Liam O Mochain
Producers: Bernie Grummell, Liam O Mochain
Cast: Liam O Mochain (Daniel), Norma Sheahan (Maya), Brendan Conroy (Joe), Aoibhin Garrihy (Sile), Liam Carney (Eddie), Lynette Callaghan (Jackie), Seamus Hughes (Gabriel), Olga Wehrly (Zoe), Mary McEvoy (Pauline), Adam Goodwin (Declan), Fionnuala Flaherty (Trish)
Editor: Ciara Brophy
Cinematographer: Fionn Comerford
Production Designer: David Wilson
Music Score: Richie Buckley
Lost & Found is an affable anthology movie that centers around, well, a lost and found room at a train station in Ireland. The framing story revolves around a man named Daniel (played by writer/director Liam O Mochain, who also made W.C. and The Book That Wrote Itself) who gets a job at the lost and found, and immediately starts to meet the colorful characters who inhabit and work near the station.
The next (or first?) story is “Ticket to Nowhere,” involving a panhandler who begs for money to catch a train, but there’s something fishy about his story. Next is “The Proposal,” about a young man who plans a surprise trip for him and his girlfriend so that he can ask her to marry him. Then there’s “The Tent,” about a man who goes on a treasure hunt in the backyard of a house in which he lived as a child. Next up is “The Will,” about a woman who stumbles into a funeral home to use the rest room and winds up paying her respects to the departed…with unintended consequences. Then comes “Grand Opening,” about a bar owner who keeps changing the theme of his struggling establishment hoping to finally attract some customers. Finally, there’s “The Wedding,” in which a bride-to-be turns out to be a real bridezilla.
Lost & Found is essentially a collection of short films by Liam O Mochain. In fact, half of the stories existed as previous short films before O Mochain compiled them together into the anthology. All of the tales are based on true anecdotes that O Mochain collected, and he and his dedicated band of actors and crew members had been working on getting them all filmed since about 2011. Which is probably why a few of them leaked out as shorts; Liam O Mochain knew he had some good stuff, and couldn’t wait for people to see it.
Although the stories are different, both in plot and in tone, they come together seamlessly into a movie that feels greater than the sum of its parts. Characters cross in and out of each tale, giving the segments a feeling of a shared universe, despite being completely separate story threads. Daniel the Lost and Found guy is also the treasure hunting guy, the woman who stumbles into the funeral home is a hospital worker from nearby (and the dead man is also familiar), and the couple from “The Proposal” shows up again in “The Wedding.” The bigger world is part of the fun of Lost & Found; there’s a distinct “ah-ha!” feeling whenever a character from earlier in the film shows up.
To sum up, Lost & Found is charming, funny, at times sad, and always introspective. It’s never too heavy, even when it has deep things to say. And it is always entertaining. Like any episodic anthology, some segments are stronger than others (“Grand Opening” is the highlight, while “The Wedding” is a bit of a dud). But Lost & Found has more hits than misses, and as a whole, it’s a very enjoyable movie.
Score and Soundtrack
The score to Lost & Found was composed and performed by saxophonist Richie Buckley who, in addition to having scored most of Liam O Mochain’s other movies, is also the touring sax player for rock legend Van Morrison. The music has a cool jazz feel, obviously heavy on the saxophone, mixed with a modern flair so it doesn’t sound dated, but also avoiding sounding like the stuff of soft pop jazz guys like Kenny G or David Sanborn. It sounds a bit like something that might be played by a talented street musician (which would have been a cool cameo for Buckley, had it happened). Anyway, the music in Lost & Found is fresh and unique, and the film benefits from having such a remarkable score.