Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fracture: Grade A


Fracture (2007)

Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike. Director Gregory Hoblit

Mr. “Ate-his-liver-with-fava-beans-and-a-nice-Chianti” treats us again to his intellectual psychopath bit. Despite the cliché role, Hopkins is a magnificent actor. Allusions to Hannibal Lecter are done with lighting, directing, and acting, not by script quotations. But once again we have Hopkins as a super smart murderer who plays cat and mouse with the young assistant DA (Gosling). Gosling, who was great in Half Nelson, is on par with Hopkins here. What starts out as a slam dunk case with a full confession, ends up as an acquittal due to no evidence, as Hopkins gets away with the perfect crime. The sudden reversal at the end depends on some giant leaps of faith by the audience, but is within the range of plausible. The romantic substory between Gosling and Pike seems like an afterthought. Lighting is often distracting – mysterious strong light below faces and law office and courtroom scenes lit by streaks of dusty light through louvered blinds as if it were 1925. Music is stereotypically manipulative and adds nothing. These flaws are easily overcome by very strong acting and a good story.

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