Friday, April 20, 2007

"Fracture"--Movie Review

Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics tour in town tonight, and I’m not going to the show. My friends have turned me into a honest-to-goodness ticketsnob. When I couldn’t pull up anything in the first ten rows, I decided to save my c-note, and spend the evening with the deliciously talented and handsome Ryan Gosling, and the increasingly creepy Sir Anthony Hopkins.

There’s nothing more attractive to me than talented men…and this movie has two of them. Double the fun! I love seeing people in their elements, and Hopkins and Gosling were born to be actors.

“Fracture” is a methodical, beautiful, yet honest legal thriller centered around Ted Crawford, an engineer, tortured by his very brilliance and knowledge that his wife his cheating on him. He kills her. And he then takes a liking to Willie Beachum, a young, arrogant prosecutor one case away from starting a job in corporate litigation that comes with a corner office, a fat paycheck, and a hot blonde boss (There’s a crossroads here: a fancy life, challenging job, and fringe benefits out the wazoo on one side and then there’s a life of a public defender sending people to jail and making no money on the other. TAKE THE PERFECT LIFE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!).

There’s a mystery of course and a twist at the end, but the treat of this movie is the relationship between Crawford and Beachum. It’s a dark, sometimes paternal battle of wits (“Don’t make me come across that table…”) and it’s rooted in all things confusingly masculine.

The movie itself is realistic, but not boring. It is also filmed in such a way where sunlight silks through the shot, catching the actors’ faces in odd angles. It washes Hopkins out and exaggerates the cataract-silver of his eyes. It highlights Gosling’s flawless skin and Leno-esque jaw. "Fracture" is an aesthetically pleasing movie, easy on the eyes without the flash-factor of stylized shots or overly-staged blocking and dialogue.

The one and only downside of this film is that there is this mounting conflict between Crawford and Beachum, but the climax and resolution doesn’t hit as hard as the trailers and even the title makes it seem it would. After seeing the trailer, I expected to see them lobbing grenades at each other in the courtroom, instead they’re tossing nerfballs and water balloons. (The other downside could be that Gosling is never shirtless…WHY? Just WHY?)

“Fracture,” with its deeply portrayed characters and comical dialogue, is more than worth the overprice of admission. Hopkins with his facial ticks and lazy British lilt is both eerie yet fascinating. Gosling is just amazing to watch.


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