Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...
God, I hope so. I want Cronenberg to be relevant again. I love his work, and it’s hard to watch such a tremendous filmmaker stay marginalized. The source material here is a great opportunity for Cronenberg to make a film that can play to any audience. Did he knock it out of the park? Well...
I saw the new Cronenberg movie last night at a test screening in Pasadena. It’s really going to confound some of his die hard fans, but holy shit is it ever a kick ass movie. Viggo Mortensen plays a midwest family man whose life gets turned upside down when some bad ass drifters try to rob his diner and kill everyone in it. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, because this movie has a lot of unexpected twists and turns.
Nothing about this movie feels like a Cronenberg movie, but it fits into his resume perfectly, somehow. It’s all about violence and what growns underneath the normal world. Viggo gives an amazing performance
This movie should make him a real star, instead of “that guy with the sword in those hobbit movies.” Maria Bello gives an incredible performance as his wife, and the sex scenes between them are smoking hot. The kid who plays their teenage son is great, too. There’s a locker room confrontation with the school bully that plays out in a way I’ve never seen in a movie before. It’s just smart and funny and very, very real.
For a movie called A History of Violence and directed by David Cronenberg, there’s not a lot of violence, but those scenes are incredible - you feel every punch, every bullet. The scenes are visceral and real and painful. Ed Harris gives yet another great performance as an old mobster who thinks he recognizes Viggo from the old days, and the makeup is incredible - it really looks like one of his eyes got torn up with barbed wire, the scarring is that real.
William Hurt shows up at the end and gives the kind of insane, energized performance you’ve never seen him give before. He’s astonishing.
Like I said, I don’t want to give away too much about the plot because it’s loaded with great twists and turns, and I challenge anyone to figure out where it’s headed. Cronenberg’s in top form. I’ve never seen a Cronenberg film with so much bright sunlight in it, but it looks amazing, and it’s paced beautifully. He gets incredible performances out of everyone - place your money on Maria Bello finally getting that nomination she’s been due since The Cooler off of this one - and the tension just builds and builds and builds until the amazing final shot.
I admit it, I enjoyed his arty movies of the last few years, but it’s awesome seeing Cronenberg step into the big studio ring and score a major knock-out. If you liked Mystic River and Unforgiven, you're gonna love it. This movie rocks.
That’s two great reviews for it here on AICN already. I’m dying to lay eyes on it myself. Can’t wait until New Line starts screening it for reviewers this fall.