This is movie-making at its best. But I had a hard time making it to the theatre. I had already seen my Friday afternoon movie and sent in my review to my publisher at the "Fort Bend Independent" and to my movie review list of four hundred of my closest friends, so I did not have any pressure to see another movie over the weekend of October 22nd.
It had been a slow Saturday afternoon and UT was upset by Iowa State by 2 PM. I did not want to take a nap and all of my honey do's had been accomplished so I was getting antsy by mid-afternoon. I had been thinking a lot about the new De Niro/Norton movie and decided that I had to see it.
I checked the internet and found that it was playing at the Edwards (exclusively) at 5:25 PM. Monique H. did not want to go with me. Ironically, the Edwards cinema complex in the Greenway Plaza area is one block from Eric H's apartment, but I knew I could not disturb him as he was in a deep sleep recovering from a Saturday review class at South Texas College of Law in downtown Houston.
Stone is the name used by the Edward Norton's character that is in his eighth year of incarceration for arson; he and a cousin burned down the house of their grandparents with grandpa and grandma in the house. Stone is up for parole and his parole officer is none other than Jack Mabry (Bobby De Niro). Jack is close to retirement but explains to the warden that he wants to finish up a few of cases.
Norton/Stone is sporting a corn roll hairdo and the appropriate tats when he first sits down in Mabry's office for an interview. The sparks and F-bombs between Stone and Mabry are immediate and constant. You might say that they started off on the wrong foot. Stone stuffs his considerable anger because he knows that Mabry holds the key to his getting out of prison.
Stone wants out of prison so desperately that he is quite willing to solicit his comely wife, Lucetta, (Milla Jovovich) to intervene and meet with Officer Mabry. At first, Mabry refuses to even speak to Stone's wife but she can be very convincing. The mind games between Stone and Mabry and now Lucetta are a thing of beauty. The script is splendid.
Let's back up a minute: Mabry is married and the audiences is introduced to his wife Marylyn (Frances Conroy) through flashbacks and lonely dinners in their sad, morose home pending the imminent retirement of Office Mabry. Lucetta is hot; Madylyn looks like she's been rode hard and put up wet. I smell trouble!
So, who are the big winners in this independent film? Everybody. All four of the main actors deserve Oscar nominations; their acting was simply magnificent. The set designs, sounds, and music were outstanding and spellbinding. The screenplay by Angus MacLachlan and direction by John Curran were brilliant. I can hardly wait to see this movie again. I'd go today. This is a great movie. Rock 'n Roll.