April 23rd, 2007 02:24 EST
Fracture - Movie Review
Fresh off an Academy Award nomination, Ryan Gosling goes toe to toe with the serpent of suspense, Anthony Hopkins in the smart and twisted thriller Fracture.
Directed by Gregory Hoblit, whose other film credits include Primal Fear, Fracture borrows much of its style from classic Alfred Hitchcock films. At the start of the film, the mystery seems fairly simple to solve. However, keeping with the Hitchcock tradition, the audience is faced with more questions than answers. "
Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, a wealthy aeronautics engineer, who discovers his wife is having an affair. That same evening when his wife, played by Embeth Davidtz, arrives at home Ted takes out a handgun and shoots her in the head. When the police arrive he confesses to the crime.
Enter Ryan Gosling as Willy Beachum, a lawyer at the District Attorney`s office with a 97 per cent conviction rate. Willy has just taken a new job at a posh corporate attorney`s office and he has one foot out the door when this case arrives on his desk. However, considering Ted`s confession of the crime and Willy`s stellar success the case seems closed, right? Wrong.
One crucial piece of evidence-the gun-is missing from the crime scene. Questions about how and where Ted disposed of the weapon not only plague Willy and the police officers but the audience as well.
When the trial begins Ted chooses to represent himself. Willy now wants out of the case and into his new cushy office at the corporate firm. Ted, however, has latched himself onto Willy. He even hires a private investigator to delve into Willy`s background. Ultimately, Ted is searching for something that will fracture Willy. Some piece of information that will tear him apart.
The most satisfying and riveting scenes of Fracture take place between the two lead actors. They verbally spar with one another, each hoping to crack the other`s veneer.
"I`m not gonna play games with you," Willy tells the confessed murderer.
Ted responds in a conniving tone, "I`m afraid you have to, old sport."
Hopkins` sly sneer in Fracture can best be described as Hannibal Lecter-lite. His character Ted is not as sinister as the unforgettable and haunting Hannibal in The Silence of the Lambs, but Hopkins` piercing stares at Gosling still produce goose bumps. "
Gosling, who received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of a crack-addicted elementary school teacher in last year`s phenomenal Half Nelson, adds another well-crafted performance to his growing resume.
Thanks to the film`s interesting script and great performances, Fracture is incapable of falling apart.