Portland, Oregon during the gray and rainy season is an ideal place to set a mystery story, adding a touch of monochromatic noir to the landscape. But the mystery in Cold Weather shares screen time with an exploration of different types of relationships, as writer/director Aaron Katz has done in his previous features, Quiet City and Dance Party USA. The combination results in a charming low-key film spiked with a touch of suspense.
Doug (Cris Lankenau) has just moved back to Portland after leaving college, where he had studied forensic science. He's not interested in a career at the moment, and ends up with a job at the local ice factory. In his spare time, he hangs out with his sister Gail (Trieste Kelly Dunn) and reads old detective stories. His ex-girlfriend Rachel (Robyn Rikoon) shows up in town for a short trip, but doesn't show up for a date with Doug's coworker Carlos (Raul Castillo) and appears to have vanished. Doug and Gail team up, with help from Carlos to figure out where (and who) Rachel really is.