The Missing Person

Director: Noah Buschel
Screenwriters: Noah Buschel

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


John Rosow is a private detective prone to sardonic wit, gin, and the endless repercussions of what happens when you mix the two. Powerful lawyer Drexler Hewitt wants Rosow to tail a mysterious middle-aged man who is traveling with a Mexican boy from Chicago to Los Angeles. Hewitt’s loyal, stern assistant, Miss Charley, waits at the door with cash and instructions. But when Rosow hits Santa Monica, his objective changes: now he has to bring the man back to New York—for a cool half mil. Through his various dealings with an odd cast of characters—a cabdriver who knows his Catholic saints, a Segway-riding L.A. cop, meddling FBI agents, and femme fatales—Rosow begins to unravel the strange tale of the missing middle-aged man and learns something about himself along the way.

The Missing Person is a stunning, modern-day film noir. It creates a desaturated world of color with the most luscious lighting you could dream of. Michael Shannon is perfect as Rosow, with a face and demeanor that bring the character to startling life. Under the airtight direction of Noah Buschel, Shannon’s Rosow is reminiscent of Elliott Gould as Phillip Marlow in The Long Goodbye or Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer in Kiss Me Deadly—gruff, lovable, flawed, and doing the best they can.

— Mike Plante

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]