This weekend sees the unofficial start of the quality-driven fall movie season. (Yeah, technically it began a few weeks ago, but would you want "Riddick" to kick off anything with the word quality in it?) The smart pop entertainment Formula One movie "Rush" hits theaters in limited release, and the elevated genre pic "Prisoners" opens on several thousand screens around the country.
Denis Villeneuve’s film is a twisty tale of narrative surprise. The basics: When
No fun to give away key plot points, so we won't, but the movie deals with weighty issues and has a fascinating back story. Here are a half-dozen things worth knowing on your way in or on your way out.
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Childsnatching. The movie wasn't written with the
The other “Prisoners." A beloved Hollywood script for more than four years, "Prisoners" could well have turned into a different movie with very different personalities. At one point,
The unlikely marriage. What happens if you take arthouse and commercial filmmaking and mash them together? Hollywood doesn't often get a chance to ask that question, but it does with this movie. “Prisoners” is directed by Villeneuve, previously known for hard-hitting foreign-language Oscar nominee “Incendies.” But it’s financed and produced by
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Going to the Jake. Gyllenhaal's been getting darker and weirder in his recent roles. He does so here with a mixture of swagger and controlled rage. He also has a conspicuous blinking tic. That flourish wasn't in the script: He came up with it and persuaded Villeneuve to run with it. "I remember meeting Denis at a diner in New York before we shot the movie and I said: 'I think the character has some physical tic or attribute,'" Gyllenhaal said. "And I could see his reaction," the actor recalled, laughing as he puts his hands up in front of him and rolling his eyes in the manner of Villeneuve. "Directors can have a sense of terror when you suggest something like that."
Enter the darkness. If the movie takes you to some difficult places, you're not alone. Villeneuve said he too felt haunted by the material. "How come I'm so attracted to things that are so violent?" Villeneuve asked in an interview. "But I can't help it. It's a strong attraction to things I'm afraid of. I'm not sure why that is."