March 12th, 2013
I hadn't seen a huge amount of pre-release publicity for Park Chan-Wook's English language debut, Stoker, so I was mildly surprised to discover as I read the opening credits that the screenplay was written one Wentworth Miller. A quick check of the IMDB once I got home revealed that yes, that was former Prison Break star Wentworth Miller wrote the screenplay for Stoker. Presumably not in the form of torso-spanning tattoo, but still: I didn't know he had it in him.
As to the film itself, it looks magnificent, with gorgeous, lush photography and sly editing (there's a lovely, icky moment involving a pencil being sharpened that'll stick in my mind for a while) and gives Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode – now comprehensively forgiven for being so woefully miscast in Watchmen - and Mia Wasikowska plenty of opportunities to act their socks off. I liked Wasikowska in 2011's Jane Eyre, but she was a revelation here: her role is the fulcrum of the story, and she absolutely pulls it off.
It's not what you'd call a particularly naturalistic film, nor one that repays thinking too deeply about the plot mechanics, but if you'll just go with it Stoker will take you to some fairly dark places before it's done. You may well enjoy the ride.1
- I'll admit to cackling loudly in the cinema at one crucial point some ten or so minutes before the end. ↩