|Directed by:||Michael Winterbottom|
|Written by:||John Curran|
|Cast:||Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, Elias Koteas, Bill Pullman|
|Genre:||Crime, Drama, Thriller|
I feel like I should have enjoyed this a lot more than I did. Not that I disliked it. All the right pieces are there for a damn fine piece of dark violent cinema.
Casey Affleck is great as a baby-faced psychopath. He is quiet, disturbing and volatile. Jessica Alba, believe it or not, is actually quite good here. She won't win any awards, but I feel she finally had a solid character to work with and does a nice job of giving a troubled woman a likability that gets us on her side. She is also breathtakingly gorgeous, but you all knew that already. Kate Hudson I felt was a underused and was really there for one purpose, which I won't say here.
The scenes of violence were disturbing and effective. There was outcry after Sundance that the film spent too much time showing violent acts against women, and is therefore, misogynistic. I don't buy it. Showing acts of violence does not mean you hate the victim being depicted. I don't understand why people choose to be blind to reality and criticize something like this. Terrible things like this happen. That's the point.
The film is intelligent and gritty, and worth watching for the performances, but for many segments of the film, I was a little bored. There isn't a lot of excitement. And I don't mean car chases or skyscraper explosions. I just mean something to keep me engaged in the story between the violence. The film lost me a couple times.
Still, I bet there is a bunch of folks out there who will get a kick out of this film.