Monday, January 17, 2011

STONE (2010) - John Curran

I'm not sure what to make of Stone. Edward Norton plays a cornrowed convict trying to get under straight-laced parole officer DeNiro's skin and get himself him a speedier release by way of trampy wife Milla Jovovich. That much is apparent even from the trailer. But the movie breaks somewhere in the middle when one of the characters experiences what can only be called a religious epiphany, one which the screenplay seems to use as an ill-advised plot twist. It's a risky move and takes an interesting first act set-up off into an entirely different direction, one which left me shrugging by the end. It's sort of like when someone tells you they found God in a bowl of corn flakes. What can you really say but "Well, good luck with that."

I'm not so sure why Stone attracted such major league talent either. Other than the fact that Junebug writer Angus MacLachlan penned the script, I don't see what was in it for Norton other than braided hair, a K-Fed accent and working with DeNiro a second time. But DeNiro's done the repressed, stiff-shirt professional thing before and done it better. Jovovich? Well, after countless Resident Evil iterations what actress in their right mind wouldn't opt for DeNiro and Norton in the flesh over more soulless CGI?

I watched Stone on a laptop on a bus ride. But I think in a theater or at home on the widescreen it might have come off even worse. It would have commanded more of my attention and, I suspect, left me feeling a little more gypped at the end.

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