Stone hits theaters with a thump. This is a film packed to the brim with ideas and a lot of potential. The fact that you have Robert De Niro and Edward Norton facing off in some pretty intense scenes definitely helps the film as a whole. Sadly it lacks any grand significance in the end that you’ll be craving after going through such an intense experience — but then again, that might just be the point, you don’t always get what you want.
Find out more about the film in our review below…
- Directors: John Curran
- Writers: Angus MacLachlan
- Actors: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Frances Conroy
- Cinematography: Maryse Alberti
A convicted arsonist looks to manipulate a parole officer into a plan to secure his parole by placing his beautiful wife in the lawman’s path.
- Ideas: Despite the fact that the film never fully achieved what it was capable of, there were some great ideas in it that really make you pay attention and draw you in. This wasn’t something that was thrown together, rather something that someone set out to accomplish and in that sense it succeeds.
- Acting: Overall no one is winning any awards for this but it was nice to see De Niro in such a dramatic-twisted role, Norton transforms himself for the movie and in the movie, Conroy who has the type of face that tells you everything without saying anything and Jovovich, who is hot — and she puts in a good hot-crazy girl performance – though I think Blake Lively might have one upped her in The Town.
- Repetition: Throughout the film, almost everything you see that matters you’ll see again in a different way. It’s a clever idea that they added in to make the film feel like there was more going on behind it… but the sad thing is it didn’t add up. Maybe if I was a Christian it would mean something, but all I saw was an attempt at a lot of symbols that never really went anywhere.
- Control: There are a few times where you’ll wonder who is doing what to who and who is in control? Hopefully you’re not one who needs and answer because this film merely asks questions… LOTS of questions. Some of them are worth pondering, but not all.
- Nothing was 100%: Everything felt like it was being slightly suggesting but never presented. There were so many symbols and ideas suggesting greater ideas, but nothing ever really added up to something substantial. All the symbolism needed to either be hidden deeper so that we had to discover it for ourselves or it had to be bigger and add up to something. Showing us things, without letting us find it and then having no great finale leaves you feeling jipped walking out of the theater.
- Finale: After watching these characters go through so much there needed to be some kind of release. Some films can leave you pondering, some need to give you an answer — this film needed some kind of finale. All of these characters have a reason to put a gun in their mouth and pull the trigger and the actors to a good job at portraying that, so the story needed something to walk out of the theater with — unless that’s their message? And if so, it’s an interesting one, but not entirely pleasant.
It kind of feels like the story let the film down even though it’s what built it up. The problem is there are a lot of good things here and this is a quality film, but it’s not an enjoyable one. The acting is worth seeing, if only for De Niro. Your call. It will leave you thinking, you just might not like the thoughts it leaves you with.
Stone will be in theaters October 8th!