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Film Review: Mia Wasikowska Finds Trippy Mystery in ‘Stoker’

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CHICAGO – There is cause and effect in life, and there are times when random acts of circumstance rinses it all away. Those emotions are realized in the strange yet compelling composition of the new film “Stoker,” featuring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

Director Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”) weaves a dream state into a rather standard Hitchcockian thriller, which allows the material to rise to a fascinating visual and performance level. The use of the actors as chess pieces on the story board, creating mystery through their interplay, was inventive uplift in the film. The three main players – Wasikowska, Kidman and Goode – were both skittish and subtle with their motivations, which generates scenes of surprising obscurity, sensuality and even horror. Chan-wook is an original artist, and uses his cinematic canvas in ways that are wholly innovative.

India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) is a senior in high school, and her father (Dermot Mulrooney) is her best friend. On her 18th birthday, her father is killed in an automobile accident. These combined situations throw her household and mother Evie (Nicole Kidman) into a shattered state. There is a mysterious stranger at the home after the funeral, who turns out to be the brother of India’s father, Uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode).

Charlie decides to stay at the family’s estate for a while, and immediately ingratiates himself into the daily routine. The relationship between him and Evie starts to accelerate, as well as his almost uncomfortable obsession with his niece. The situation escalates when the housekeeper inexplicably disappears, and when Great Aunt Gin (Jacki Weaver) appears with information that could disrupt the domesticity. There is a mystery to Uncle Charlie, and it has to do with his designs on India, and what occurs based on those designs.

“Stoker” has a limited release in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles on March 1st. See local listings for theaters and showtimes. Featuring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulrooney, Jacki Weaver and Alden Ehrenreich. Screenplay by Wentworth Miller. Directed by Park Chan-wook. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Stoker”

Mia Wasikowska
India (Mia Wasikowska) Feels Surrounded in ‘Stoker’
Photo credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Stoker”

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