Director: Chan-wook Park
Writer: Wentworth Miller, Erin Cressida Wilson
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney, Alden Ehrenreich, Harmony Korine
India (Mia Wasikowska) just lost her father Richard (Dermot Mulroney) in a car accident. But on the day of his funeral, her uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) appears. India didn’t know he existed and her mother Evie (Nicole Kidman) barely knew it herself. Charlie stays and slowly gets closer to India, who is initially abrasive. But he does seem to have his own agenda.
I expected grand things of Stoker. And despite my high expectations, I was completely blown away by how good the film actually is. It’s tense, it’s beautiful and it has an amazing cast. Hats off to everybody.
I already knew that Chan-wook Park is one stylish bastard. His movies are always things of beauty, but in this one he really outdid himself. He and the set designer that is. And the costume design. Seriously amazing stuff and in so many details that it would have practically been enough to just look at the film and how pretty it is.
But he doesn’t leave it at that. Instead he takes this gorgeous film and fills it to the brim with an interesting story that did leave me guessing even though it isn’t all that new (and can I just say how surprised I am that this was written by the Prison Break-dude? Chapeau again, monsieur). He paces this story perfectly and creates such a tense atmosphere that I felt like I had trouble breathing sometimes.
Maybe more important than the pacing and the story were the characters and the fantastic cast. Mia Wasikowska really is one of the best young actresses around and she proves it with every movie she’s in. Nicole Kidman fit her role so perfectly and the conflict between Evie and India felt so real that I almost wondered whether she’s currently stressed out by her own kids. But the charismatic center of this film who steals every scene is Matthew Goode. I mean you completely understand why he would set so many things in motion and just as India you’re pulled towards him and there’s nothing you can do about it. [Also, I always knew that he was goodlooking, but in this film he just moved into my hormonal center, settled there and then played me like a puppet master.]
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the fantastic soundtrack by Clint Mansell, with a few pieces by Philip Glass. It all had me feeling practically post-orgasmic when I left the cinema. And how often can you say that about a movie?
Summarising: Yes, so much yes. See it.
Saw this just a couple of days ago. I got two miner complaints: while there was nice tension throughout, I missed some really nail-biting sequences. And the plot really wasn’t all that original. Other than that, it was every bit as good as you said in your review – even though Matthew Goode didn’t really hit my hormonal center the same way as he did yours ;-).
The plot wasn’t original, no. But it somehow had me guessing anyway. And I didn’t need any particular nail-biting sequence because the entire film had me basically on edge the entire time.
But I agree with both your complaints factually, they just weren’t things that bothered me. :)
Yeah, Matthew Goode… I still get goosebumps thinking about him in this film.
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