Jun 22, 2020
On the podcast this week, Steven and Sean are doing some very morally and legally questionable things to Paul Dano in the mysterious Denis Villeneuve drama, Prisoners.
If it’s not clear by now, we kinda really super duper love Denis Villeneuve’s work. We started with Enemy, hit up Sicario, and are continuing our apparent series of emotionally tense and dramatic films with Prisoners. To call us shell-shocked by this point would be an understatement.
Before getting into the film we’re supposed to be talking about, we end up walking down a long, reptile-filled road and discussing the clearly inimitable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie series. Will they become part of a future b-movie extravaganza? Will we try to watch them all for a single podcast episode? Will we go crazy in the process? Tune in later to find out!
Back to Prisoners…
This film is a tough one to get through, we’ll say that upfront. It’s about what people are willing to go through and do in the face of extreme concern and agony. It brings up interesting questions about your personal morality. If your child was kidnapped, what lengths would you go to find them? We find out that there are lengths that some people are more than willing to travel down than others.
In the midst of all the tension and torture, there’s a fascinating mystery swirling around at the center of this film. Who was it that took the children? What do all those mazes mean? Who are all these other creepy dudes in the film? It’s fascinating to see a master filmmaker slowly peel away the layers of a complex case. If you want a stellar example of a police procedural, then Prisoners is for you.
Much like every other Denis Villeneuve film, Prisoners had a level of sound design and scoring that is second to none. This film was made by someone who really values how a film can affect a viewer, indeed how it can chill you to the core. In another Oscar-nominated role, Roger Deakins knocks the cinematography out of the park with this one. We can’t recall a moment that wasn’t bathed in rainy grayness. His mastery of lighting, framing, and camera movement is a thrill to witness.
As we wrap this description up we want to ask, why the hell hasn’t Jake Gyllenhaal won an Oscar yet? In fact, why didn’t all of the actors in this movie win Oscars? They were incredible. Get back to us about this major oversight, Academy.
(Recorded on May 6, 2020)
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