What movie was that...?

01 March 2010

Shutter Island

directed by Martin Scorsese

After watching Scorsese’s newest and, sadly, most predictable filmic endeavor, Shutter Island, I initially was not going to write a review for it. I thought better of it, however, and though I enjoyed parts of the film, I ultimately felt let down. Perhaps it’s because I had such high hopes for a film boasting such an amazing cast and amazing behind the camera talent, or maybe it’s just because I wanted a movie that offered me more than skid marks like When in Rome and Valentine’s Day. Maybe I just love Leo and Mark Ruffalo so much that I had stars in my eyes. Scorsese shows much competence in his suspenseful film about two U.S. Marshals sent to a gothicly creepy asylum to investigate the disappearance of a patient, but I was looking for more than competence. No fault can be made with regard to the acting prowess of all involved, from John Carroll Lynch (always amazing) to Jackie Earle Haley, every single person brought their A game (though I feel that Emily Mortimer had way more chemistry with Leo than Michelle Williams did. Too bad.) to their roles, but Leo, though excellent at portraying a man whose world is crumbling around him, seems to give us more of his Revolutionary Road character. Not that I don’t love Revolutionary Road (one of my favorite films of last year), I just feel that Leo’s performance, judged by Leo standards, is not mind-blowing. That seems to be the common verdict I have come to about the entire film: judged by generic film and acting standards, the film is great, but judged subjectively based on all involved’s prior work (again, this applies to Scorsese all the way down to Elias Koteas), the film falls short. It’s like the top student in the class turning in another great paper they clearly just breezed through. I know what you are capable of, sirs and ma'ams.
P.S. Patricia Clarkson, you were amazing, as well. And so were you, Ted Levine.

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