Cold Weather

(2011)

A self-styled Sherlock Holmes leads an unlikely team of irregulars in this charming comic mystery from indie auteur Aaron Katz. After abandoning a promising academic career in forensic science, aimless Doug (Cris Lankenau) returns to Portland to live with his more responsible big sister Gail (Trieste Kelly). He easily lands a dead-end job working in an ice factory, but his latent passion for detective work is stoked when his ex-girlfriend, Rachel (Robyn Rikoon) goes missing.

Armed with a handful of arcane clues and a vast knowledge of the world of Sherlock Holmes, Doug enlists Gail and co-worker Carlos (Raúl Castillo) in a ramshackle investigation that draws the slacker sleuths into Portland's underground. What they discover is a complex trail of clues, leading them increasingly close to the discovering the mysterious truth about Rachel.

Building on the lyrical style and naturalistic performances of his two previous features, DANCE PARTY USA and QUIET CITY, Katz offers a refreshingly idiosyncratic spin on genre conventions. COLD WEATHER is simultaneously the story of a brother and sister getting to know each other after years apart and a mystery in the great tradition of crime and detective fiction.

EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Katz Talks ‘Cold Weather’

After dropping out of college in Chicago, Doug (Cris Lankenau) returns home to rainy Portland, Oregon to live with his more stable and responsible sister, Gail (Trieste Kelly Dunn). Unsure of what to do next, Doug spends his days sleeping until noon and rereading old detective novels, while Gail goes about the daily routines of her quiet life. Eventually Doug manages to find a job working the night shift at an ice factory. There he meets Carlos (Raúl Castillo), a longtime employee who moonlights as a DJ. Carlos is initially skeptical of Doug. He's seen all kinds of people pass through the job. But the two become friends after Doug lends him a copy of his favorite book, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Doug has not quite settled into his new life when Rachel (Robyn Rikoon), his former girlfriend from Chicago, arrives in town. Doug is wary of her, but he introduces her to Carlos and Gail. Later, when Rachel fails to turn up one night, Carlos is convinced something has happened to her. At first Doug and Gail think that he has read too much Sherlock Holmes, but soon they too start to suspect foul play. With Doug in the lead, relying largely on expertise gained from years of reading detective novels, they set out to investigate. What they discover is a complex trail of clues, leading them closer and closer to the mysterious truth about Rachel.

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