Silent Fall

At 19, Liv Tyler has been a daughter to two rock legends (she called Todd Rundgren Dad until she was 10, then learned that Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is her real father), the center of a feeding frenzy in Cannes, the star of a Bernardo Bertolucci movie, and, according to Tom Hanks, ”the oldest 18-year-old I’ve ever encountered.”

So much life experience; so little that comes through on screen. Tyler is that rare creature who is maturing as an actress without seeming to gain in finesse. She’s starred in six films to date, and while at her worst she’s a pouty-lipped, dead-voiced blank, at her more recent best, unexpectedly rich nuances can float up through the artless perfection of that face.

Intriguing. And, when you see her first movie, 1994’s barely released Silent Fall, frustrating. Here’s a role that any young actress would crave: a teenager whose parents have been brutally slain and who carries some terrifying secrets. But while Tyler has a lovely Pre-Raphaelite glow, her performance is as frozen as the lake she tosses Richard Dreyfuss into at the climax, with nothing to suggest the disturbances the hackneyed script insists are churning under the surface. D

Silent Fall
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