10.01.2005

QUICKIE: A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)

Finally! A film that brings back everything that makes the classics classic. This character is not just well rounded, he brands himself into your memory the same way any Eastwood/Wayne/DeNiro great Hollywood hero would. And that's just him - every other character here is loaded with realism - almost impossible not to care for. From the male perspective for the film's duration Viggo Mortensen's character is every man I want to be, Maria Bello's is every woman I want to love, and Ed Harris' (along with a slew of other baddies) is everything I fear.

This is the first David Cronenberg film I've ever seen. When I first saw a picture of the man, all I could think of was the shriveled old prophet of doom from Jason X. In A History of Violence, the shriveled prophet has crafted an unforgettable cinematic experience that is unmatched by anything else I've seen this year. He shows no hints of restraint when it comes to two key subjects - sex and gore. At the same time, his filming style is unobtrusive, showing precisely what is needed to tell the story without distracting by drawing too much attention to the craft. For once in the past few years we have shots with space behind the characters that don't force us to think something could possibly jump out from the shadows.

The delicate manner in which this story is weaved is highly admirable. Each scene that sets up for everything about to go down is subtly and artfully assembled to prepare us in a way we can barely recognize until its all said and done. I'm sure I will return to A History of Violence many a time.

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