Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm Just The Driver

Viggo Mortensen as Nikolai

New look, new accent but same killer performance we have all come to expect. The much talked about scene of full-frontal nudity is, IHMO, one of the best scenes in movie history. Exceptionally staged fighting meets even better acting in a tight, tense sequence that will make you want to turn away. But you won't. You can't.

Eastern Promises is a terrific action/drama film but it is not for the delicate, there is a heaping mound of violence - implied and explicit.

The film centers around a Russian mafia family and the rather unsavory activities they engage in to remain in power in present-day London. Mortensen stars as the family's driver (just the driver) who has aspirations of reaching the inner circle. But all is not as it seems.

And all is not as it seems from the beginning when a pregnant teenage Russian girl steps into corner drugstore asking for help. The track marks on her arm speak to her habit and her hemorrhaging speaks to a gloomy future, which indeed turns out to be very short. Although the Russian girl dies in childbirth she gives birth to a girl and a diary. A diary that accuses. A diary that exposes secrets.

The acting is excellent from all but Mortensen as Nikolai dominates the screen. Throughout he walks the line between menacing and compassionate, as if he has as many secrets as the diary. Plot twists begin to form a cohesive story and the audience realizes the reason for his duality. What I liked the most about the film was the deadpan delivery of the plot twists - subtle yet powerful.

I liked David Cronenberg's last offering, A History Of Violence, but Eastern Promises shows maturity and confidence on a new level.

Eastern Promises

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job on the blurb, Jim. Just wondering, how does Viggo in Eastern Promises compare to Christian Bale in The Machinist?

Georgia from L.A.

6:42 PM

Anonymous Jason said...

Saw this, and it was bloody good, literally. I've never grabbed my throat and covered my eyes so much. lol.

Viggo rocks my world!

11:40 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Georgia, I think Bale went through a much more dramatic physical transformation in the Machinist (losing 65 pounds) but both gave stellar performances!

6:18 AM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, right Jason, I think I covered my throat too. I haven't cringed so much in a theatre since The Departed.

6:21 AM

Anonymous sangroncito said...

The film will probably show up here in about five years from now!

7:31 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Ah, probably so! But you have other entertainment :)

8:37 PM

Blogger carl r said...

The much talked about scene of full-frontal nudity is, IHMO, one of the best scenes in movie history.

Hey, Jim. If you want a good full-frontal scene, try Angels in America, I forget exactly where in the show, but there's a great scene where Mary Louise Parker's character is in a shouting match with her closeted, Mormon, Republican lawer husband, and in an effort to reach him, drops clothes, and says, "Look at me. What do you see?"

Powerful scene. Made more so when the husband's character says, "Nothing," and walks out.

That, and Mary Louise Parker looks damd good for 38 or so...

4:54 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Hey Carl, I'll have to check out Angels in America, thanks!

11:11 PM

Anonymous Derek said...

havn't seen this yet, but have heard of it, and want to see it.

1:59 PM

Blogger Jim said...

I think you'll enjoy Derek!

6:18 AM

Blogger Michael said...

I've seen Angels; very good movie. It's about 6 hours long, though, and was shown as a mini series on Israeli TV.

Parker's nude scene is near the end (the final 90 minutes, anyway), and it was very powerful.

Al Pacino was a trip as the self-hating Jewish gay closeted ultra-conservative Republican mover with hallucinations of Ethel Rosenberg.

Definitely worth watching.

10:42 AM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, Michael, now I'm moving Angels to the front of my Blockbuster Queue, hopefully I will be able to sit through it all!

7:01 PM


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