Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Review- The Prestige

It seems like the movie to see this week is The Prestige. My parents saw it, a couple of our friends saw it, and they all said that it was excellent, so the hubby and I had to check it out for ourselves.

And the verdict is? The Nolan brothers are the new M. Night Shyamalan. I haven't wanted to immediately see a movie for a second time so badly since The Sixth Sense.

The Nolan brothers are the two who came up with Memento and Batman Begins (hence Christian Bale and Michael Caine both being in this movie too.) And man are they good. I'm not giving away anything, because this movie is too cool for that. But I will do a rundown of the acting, because that I can review and not give away the story.

I have always liked Christian Bale a lot. My sister had a huge crush on him when he played Laurie in Little Women- she was always pissed when Winona Ryder chose Gabriel Byrne over him. So he did that film, and then it seems like he disappeared until American Psycho (which I didn't see. I've never been a gore kind of girl.) I just checked IMDB, and it seems like the only significant thing he did between Little Women & American Psycho was voice-over for Pocahontas. I'm good. But anyway, I'm glad to see that he's made a comeback, and I really enjoyed him in this movie. Great actor, nice to look at, and he makes you care about his character. Unfortunately, though, he still isn't quite at the calibre of his colleague in this movie, Hugh Jackman.

A quality that I prize in actors is a chameleon-like ability to completely immerse themselves in their character to the point where you have no idea what they're actually like when they're being themselves. Tom Cruise- always plays himself. Tom Hanks- always plays himself. Hugh Grant- always plays himself. Hugh Jackman- no idea what he's like in person. And I love that. The difference between Wolverine, Peter Allen (his character in The Boy from Oz) and Algiers/Roper is astonishing. When Jackman played both Algiers & his double in one scene, he left me wondering, time and again, if it was actually him playing both. He's that good.

The two other people who you really should keep an eye out for are David Bowie (yep, that David Bowie!) and Rebecca Hall. Bowie plays Nikola Tesla, the scientist who invented alternating current (AC as we know it now, as opposed to DC, which Edison invented, and over which he and Tesla fought the War of Currents.) I didn't know that David Bowie was in the movie before I saw it, and what a shock I got this morning when I looked it up on IMDB! I didn't even recognize him! And he's got a gorgeous accent. Rebecca Hall plays Sarah, and she is the daughter of Sir Peter Hall (a noted stage director) and Maria Ewing (a famous American opera singer.) Both she and Bowie are great. That's another thing that I really enjoy about this movie- the supporting characters are so interesting (see if you can spot Gollum too.) Actually, Scarlett Johansson's character was one of the less 3-dimensional ones, which you wouldn't expect. Maybe it's because she let her breasts do most of the acting. ( I love ScarJo, but she could do a better job of keeping her girls from stealing the scene.)

Overall, fantastic film, and one you'll want to see again immediately after you've seen it. The hubby and my dad and I talked about it for at least an hour afterwards- what more can you ask for?