New York Times - 06/13/2008
"QUID PRO QUO hovers in a noir-shaded twilight zone....This small, intensely acted film is a psychological detective story..."
Los Angeles Times - 06/13/2008
"Gorgeously shot by Michael McDonough, QUID PRO QUO belies its modest budget with a glossy, burnished look that lifts the material another realm. There's something liquid and haunting about the look of the film..."
Premiere - 06/13/2008
"Fans of strange love stories and detective thrillers would do well to investigate this indie gem from first-time writer/director Carlos Brooks."
This somber yet sexy psychodrama stars Nick Stahl as Isaac, a paraplegic radio journalist who gets entangled with a cult of "wannabes," i.e. people who wish they were paralyzed or missing limbs, or who pretend to be paralyzed so they can travel around in a wheelchair. His entry into this bizarre world is Fiona (Vera Farmiga), a mysterious beauty who lures him into one strange "quid pro quo" bargain after another. Eventually, the repressed events surrounding Nick's childhood car accident (he was orphaned and left paralyzed) come into play, he finds a pair of seemingly magic shoes, and nothing is what it seems, except the raw desire, guilt, and fear that propel these characters on collision courses deep into each other's noir-stained psyches. QUID PRO QUO is the feature debut for writer-director Carlos Brooks, and it slinks along on the subtle pathways of Sundance-style indie plot exposition, bending the film to wheelchair-level view through a well thought-out maze of little touches. Director of photography Michael McDonough captures (as if in golden amber) the bruised flesh and velvet wallpaper, the filtered sunshine and dusky wooden surfaces of a perennially autumnal dream world. Stahl is good but Farmiga steals the show in another live wire, wide-eyed performance. Like her work in previous years (in Sundance indies JOSHUA and DOWN TO THE BONE), her performance here would be judged in the same league with the bared-soul brilliance of James Dean or pre-accident Montgomery Clift were this an gender bias-free world. Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo) did the score.
Description by Magnolia Home Entertainment:
Isaac Knott (Nick Stahl) is a Public Radio reporter in New York City. When he was eight, his mother and father died in an automobile accident that left him in a wheelchair.
On air, Isaac recounts how he recently received an anonymous tip from someone identified only as "Ancient Chinese Girl." She tells him a perfectly able-bodied man walked into an emergency ward downtown, and attempted to bribe a doctor into amputating his leg.
As Isaac investigates the eerie tip, he encounters Fiona (Vera Farmiga) who, through her own quandary, leads Isaac to a netherworld of people afflicted with a perverse desire to be disabled. Like a contemporary noir detective film, QUID PRO QUO follows Isaac as he embarks on a dream-like journey to pull back the layers of what makes people feel whole.