Review – Stoker

I’ve gotta be up front. This review may be a bit biased because Chan-Wook Park is one of my favorite directors of all time, and this film did not change my opinion of him at all. In fact it enforced it.(It also enforced the opinion for my mother that I may be a sociopath for loving this film so much. Poor woman, she had no idea what she was walking into when she took me to the movies tonight, she’s a trooper though.)

The plot revolves around a young reclusive teenager India Stoker(Mia Wasikowska) who with her mother Evelyn(Nicole Kidman) are recovering from the unexpected sudden death of the father in the family. This is when India’s uncle Charlie(Matthew Goode) shows up, his existence unknown to both Evelyn and India beforehand. I cannot divulge any of the plot afterwards, as it would spoil a lot for those who haven’t seen it.

Chan-Wook Park’s direction in his english language debut is impeccable. The language barrier has not made him lose any of his magnificence. He masterfully commands the twist-filled, terrifying plot written by Prisonbreak star Wentworth Miller(Michael Scofield can write too!), and brings out terrific performances from his entire cast. The editing and cinematography in the film are top-notch, combining to seamlessly weave together each scene in true Chan-Wook Park style.

Nicole Kidman is a wonderful casting decision, giving one of the better performances in her career as the broken, icy-cold mother. Mia Wasikowska once again shows why she is one of the top actresses working in her age group right now, bringing layers of depth to her reclusive character losing the innocence of youth. Matthew Goode is terrifically terrifying as the elusive mystery uncle who shakes up India’s world.

Clint Mansell provides a wondrous score to the film, further cementing him as one of the best working composers. Philip Glass also contributes some dark, magical tracks to the film as well.

It’s very easy and premature to say that a film is your favorite of the year so far when it’s only March, but I’m still gonna say it. This is without a doubt my favorite film of the year so far, and I don’t see it getting upset by another for months. I highly urge everyone to go see this film.

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