Stoker, with Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman & Matthew Goode. Director, Chan-Wook Park. Unsettling, seems to be the best word for this mystery & slightly perverse is how I’d describe this effort best. A great cast, story & cinematography. Always trust Kidman to pick a winner.
Wasikowska is almost perfect, as the daughter of the deceased, who finds herself confronted by an uncle she knew nothing about. An American country house is the setting for a family of means, that at first seems merely dysfunctional. She’s not the best pick for the part, in my book. But plays a slightly disturbed young lady, coming of age in a time of grief, with enough flair.
The film has been likened to Hitchcock’s Shadow of Doubt & uses several of the devices of that old standard. As I am merely a movie “enjoyer” & not an expert in such uppity matters, the comparison is taken at face value. If you watch the film, though, you can definitely see the similarities. But, the movie’s atmosphere is more than apparent without even analyzing it to death.
Kidman is brilliant, as usual. The widow of a husband who was essentially estranged from her, in favor of their high maintenance child. The character is played with the subtleties of a woman who is both facile, yet with an unsaid history of her own. Her performance compliments that of Wasikowska. Providing needed enhancement for the younger woman’s inability to step up to the plate & truly play something slightly autistic, without seeming to be continuously on the verge of laughing.
It’s a serious film & a newbie who’s enjoying the spotlight with established talents needs to learn the meanings of worship & knowing her place. She’s not a prodigy, by any means.
I recommend the film in earnest. Something so strange needs to be seen by serious movie-goers. I would never miss anything Kidman does. They don’t come any classier & elegant, than that wonderful creature.