Right. So. Holy shit I don’t even know where to start. Alright. So I was sitting in the cinema waiting for The Bling Ring to start a couple of weeks back, paying avid attention to the trailers (because no longer working at a cinema means I’ve got no idea what’s out or coming soon.) And then I see a trailer for Stoker. It looks dark and creepy and possibly about some murderers. I immediately think it’s something to do with Dracula or something in relation to Bram Stoker, and I’m interested because I adore Mia Wasikowska and this looks sort of cool.
Tonight, a spontaneous movie outing with Bestie results in the viewing of one of the most intense, surprising and near-flawless movies I’ve seen in a long time. I was surprised to find, when searching for times, that Stoker had very limited release in Australia, only screening at two different cinemas close by. I thought it would have had much wider release since Nicole and Mia are top billed. -shrug- Unfortunately, this means that there won’t be a huge amount of traffic for it, and I am saddened by this because for me, Stoker is potentially one of the best films of the year.
Cinematographically speaking, the editing and the scope was impeccable. One scene transitions from Nicole Kidman having her hair brushed to a barley field so seamlessly and with such artistic flair that I sank in my seat from admiration. There are glorious cuts from sunsets to fields and back again, wondrous pans across the grand property the Stokers own, and stunning choices made my the DoP on angling and focus points.
The actors do a spectacular job with some pretty dark material (incest, murder, rape) with mega props to Matthew Goode for playing sexy-and-scary as fuck Charlie Stoker. Psychosis never looked so good. Mia Wasikowska is delicious as India Stoker who’s totally uncool and unaware that her hyper-senses mean some bad shit, and Nicole Kidman never ceases to marvel as Evie Stoker, a grief-stricken wife who’s dead husband Richard was the favourite parent.
Aside from the intensity of the of the murder things, there’s an underlying erotic tension that absolutely electrifies when the focus on it sharpens. Mia gets crazy in a shower scene and the piano scene with Charlie is one of the most insanely sexy things I’ve seen in a long time. The chemistry between all three actors is palpable.
My last point to mention before diving under my doona for the evening is Wentworth Miller. Some of you are probably scratching your head saying “I’ve heard that name before but I can’t place it…?!” so let me tell you: Miller played Michael Schofield in the TV show Prisonbreak for a number of years, and recently told Russia to shove it after inviting him (an openly gay man) to their film festival. In any case. I mention Wentworth because I was surprised to see his name in the opening credits.
He was listed as one of the producers.
He was also listed as the writer.
Wentworth Miller wrote Stoker.
I cannot impart my surprise and trepidation on reading this to you enough. Initially I feared I’d walked into something average, because since when do TV actors make good screenwriters? (Yeah yeah hit me with the hate, I know I’m generalising here.) But I’ve gotta tell you, Miller writes a fucking good story, and I hope he makes more films because I’ll be first in line.
If you’re on the hunt for a suspenseful, sexy, enthralling film with darkness at its core, look no further than Stoker. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed – I could find no fault with any part of it and I challenge anyone to disagree.