Over two days, my "Movies To See" list is unspooling on The Dissolve. Here's your chance to check them off,…
After India's father (Mia Wasikowska) dies, her Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode), who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Does for belts, sand castles, staircases, pianos, pencils, pencil sharpeners, ice cream, freezers, phone booths, shoes, duck hunts, dinner, garden shears, shovels, metronomes, and showers what Psycho did for showers.
At 98 minutes, this is my dream length of movie. I have said it all my life.
After leaving this screening, and using the facilities, I could quite easily have jumped straight back in to watch the whole movie again. That doesn't happen to me often.
Stoker is phenomenal.
It's as dreamy as it is taught. As beautiful as it is horrific. It's The Tree of Life with A screenplay. An outstanding screenplay at that. It has been said that the director Park Chan-Wook has made a Hitchcock movie. You can't make a Hitchcock movie without a Hitchcock screenplay, and Wentworth Miller and Erin Cressida have made one. It's my favourite scenplay in recent memory. It keeps enough under wraps…
I’ve noticed a recent personal trend of being out of step with public and critical opinion. It’s certainly not a case of becoming contrarian or even more difficult to please in my old age but I am finding it harder to enjoy some modern films in the way so many other people clearly are. Unfortunately, Chan-wook Park’s Stoker is another one to add to this growing list of recent disappointments.
Maybe my contrasting view this time around is a little less surprising as I have always had a volatile relationship with Park’s films of either utter devotion (Oldboy, Thirst etc.) or deep loathing (Lady Vengeance, I’m a Cyborg...). The key differentiating factor between these sets of films is a robust…
My mom described this as "deliciously twisted" right after it was over and I think that's the perfect description. Park Chan-wook is really great at making the disturbing highly accessible and almost… relatable? He draws characters so well that you feel like you understand them as people, without necessarily being able to predict their actions. It's hard to talk about anything but the premise because it's best to go in with as little knowledge as possible, but in short, India Stoker is an 18 year old high school student who has just lost her father in a car accident. Shortly after his death, his mysterious younger brother Charlie comes to live with India and her mother and lots of bad…
India. Come meet your Uncle Charlie.
A perversely evil coming of age story disguised as a seduction of innocence thriller. Park Chan-wook brings his Korean storytelling sensibilities to a Hitchcockian inspired script with the results being a Gothic visual poem (if that makes sense to anyone). For me it was the most satisfying film experience, stylistically and thematically, of 2013 so far.
The Korean storytelling sensibilities I mentioned come from the numerous moments in the film that are left unexplained because the film makers trust you as a viewer to be smart enough to figure it out yourself. I might be off base but I find this much more common in Koren films, whereas in North American films…
Be still, my beating heart.
While watching Stoker I didn't even think about the fact that this is a Park Chan-wook film made outside the confines of vengeful, hysterical and overly-dramatic Korean cinema because I was distracted...hypnotized by the performance of Mia Wasikowska as India Stoker, the casual madness of Uncle Charlie and the constant array of breathtaking visuals.
"He used to say, sometimes you need to do something bad to stop you from doing something worse. "
Normally I find Nicole Kidman on the cringe-worthy side but I think her personal flaws were highlighted in her performance as an aloof, unstable woman-child with a jealous streak.
If you have not seen the movie then you should not be reading…
É um filme que navega entre a pretensão e a bobagem, mas que agrada no contexto geral, pela transgressão. Estilizado, sofisticado, coreano, mas montado nos EUA.
O grande problema no filme é que o aclamado diretor Chan Wook Park não consegue ter controle total da produção. Para quem dirigiu a trilogia da vingança, a entrega de Stoker parece não estar completa.
Ainda assim merece ser visto.
This is an outrageously good-looking film, and every scene has tantalising and enthralling composition. It engages and keeps your attention.
The motivations and character development of the main focus of this story is just odd. I will avoid spoilers so I'll not elaborate too much, but it jarred a little, and you had to have patience and acceptance of some pretty strange character development to really enjoy this film.
It nearly lost me, but it didn't. I think mostly helped by the great performances.
Damn, it's beautiful to look at.
Stoker is delicious and not least because of the movie but because of my experiences surrounding it.
I had just moved to Berlin and was trolling the internet for English language films showing in Berlin. I like Matthew Goode and his films are few and far in between. I desperately wanted to hear some English being spoken, feeling very isolated and lonely in foreign speaking country. I found the address of this random quirky Kino and set about trying to locate it. It was hard to find and fittingly so, set back in an altbau without an elevator, up six floors. The Kino took over an entire residential floor where you stepped right into a twenties/seventies kind of vibe. It…
The hardest thing about disliking Stoker is hating wonderfully inventive mise-en-scène and cinema in general. Those people have it hard enough, give ‘em a hug and a copy of Tom Hooper’s Les Mis when you see ‘em. Poor souls.
As a story, passable. Interesting. As a set of performances, above average. Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode all get their chances to shine. As a pure sensual experience, better than anything I've seen in years. India and Charlie at the piano, Evelyn's hair becoming waves of grass, the sound of the eggshell or the spider's footsteps as it crawls up India's stocking, Evelyn's speech, India painting the design on the inside of the vase, the blood on the flowers...I'm comfortable calling this Park's best work as a director. Utterly gorgeous, with the best sound of any film since Amer. I'm really aggravated that this didn't get a few technical nominations at least.
Someone wrote that? If not for Park Chan Wook throwing everything he has at it I'da thrown my TV thru the window.
Given that my favourite things, film-wise, are script, inventive use of good music, and brevity (or rather good editing), Stoker could have been made for me.
I think it could have benefited from a touch more suspense and perhaps fewer deaths, but aside from that I loved it. It was a horror/suspense movie I felt really comfortable with - it's sexy but doesn't use female jeopardy as a turn-on, and the relationships between the central characters are believable right from the outset.
The three main performances are outstanding - this is the kind of role Nicole Kidman excels in, Matthew Goode is spot on as a charismatic baddie you'd happily feel drawn to in real life, and Mia Wasikowska finds just the right balance between physically vulnerable and total badass.
I will be recommending this to everyone I speak to in the next week or so. Avoid me.
Brilliantly twisted psychosexual homage to Hitchcock by way of David Lynch, the American debut of Park Chan-wook is elegant, moody and unhinged. Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman dance cautiously around one other in an increasingly nightmarish dream state fuelled by a toxic combination of vindictive rivalry, morbid curiosity and dangerous attraction, before building to an inevitably cataclysmic climax which brings forth revelation and bloodshed.
A movie about the nature of evil. Where does evil come from?
I think this movie deserves a good rating just for its visually stunningness itself, that being always a characteristic of Park. Also the compelling scenes and the interesting unfolding mystery makes it a must watch.
All characters have a certain duality to them. The girl is innocent and also has a dark side, the uncle have this friendly look yet we always find something weird about him, and the mother is fragile yet she has her creepy moments as well.
When finally all the mystery is unfolded, I was left thinking: "Ok, what is this really about? What am I supposed to get from this story?" For a…
- Beyond the Hills
- Spring Breakers
- Upstream Color
- Stories We Tell
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- 12 Years a Slave
- Before Midnight
- The Wolf of Wall Street