Sunday, September 26, 2010

I walked into the new movie Stone


by director John Curran at a pre-release screening not knowing a thing about it and left feeling profoundly disturbed and enthralled.

If you want to experience it the same way, stop reading now and go and see it when it is released in October.

The movie stars Robert De Niro and Edward Norton and appears to chart a typical psychological thriller. However, this is not a neatly packaged Hollywood movie and a strange thematic incohesion begins to sort of solidify out of a messy fuzzy unsatisfying thread. Norton plays 'Stone', the aptly named prisoner who is trying to become paroled by appealing to De Niro's character, Jack Mabry, a prison counselor nearing retirement, and even enlists his wife's help, Lucetta, played by Milla Jovovich, in what on the surface appears to be a film noir set up.

But this extremely unsettling film aided by an incredibly well designed soundscape of noise and music that serves to make the audience uncomfortable, posits some fundamental questions about religion and human nature that are likely to upset some, infuriate others, and I suspect lead to extensive discussion such as what occurred after the screening today. The comments and questions led one audience member to say that they had completely reversed their opinion of the movie after an hour of discussion.

It reminded me very much of a Terrance Mallick film. Confounding expectations and not wrapped up with a bow.

I cannot wait to go back and visit it for a second time.

I went back a second time and Ed Norton was present and did a Q&A afterwords!

Interesting genesis to the project. Originally written for the stage by Angus MacLachlan, adapted to the cinematic form with the aid of the director and Ed Norton who worked on this for quite some time.

The characterization that Norton does for the role only came to him less than a week before shooting started based on his observations of an inmate.

Stone - imdb.
Stone - official.
Stone - opposing views.
Stone - TIFF review.

1 comment:

Richard Grove said...

Man, that sounds good. Appreciate the heads up and the focused review. It's on my list. So much crap out there now that "Cinema is Dead", so knowing what's alive and kickin' is a big help.