Lodge Kerrigan made an astonishing directorial debut in "Clean, Shaven" five years ago, telling the ferocious tale of a haunted schizophrenic in amazingly original terms. His second offering, "Claire Dolan," has a similarly offbeat story--about a prostitute trying to rebuild and renew her life--but seems oddly cautious by comparison, despite its imaginative visual style and some boldly ambiguous touches in the narrative. Katrin Cartlige gives an impressively unsentimental performance as the heroine, supported by Colm Meaney as her high-class pimp and Vincent d'Onofrio as her well-meaning boyfriend. Every element of the movie reconfirms Kerrigan as a strong and original young talent--the unexpected final scene is especially fine--but I miss the anything-goes adventurousness that made "Clean, Shaven" truly one of a kind. Here's hoping his third outing combines the fine-grained meticulousness of this one with the outlandish vitality of his first.
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