Friday, November 13, 2009
Movie Reviews: THE BOX
A suburban couple, Norma (Cameron Diaz) and Arthur (James Marsden), face a moral dilemma when they receive a gift that bears irrevocable consequences. With the press of a button, their simple wooden box will bestow $1 million; however, a stranger somewhere else will die, at the same time. The box will be theirs for only 24 hours, and as time ticks away, Norma and Arthur confront the depth of their humanity as they consider their choices.
Cast: Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella
Director: Richard Kelly
Opened ..November 6, 2009..
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images
Genres: Supernatural Horror, Horror
Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko is a cult classic and rightfully so. His second film, Southland Tales, was a masturbatory cinematic explosion of excess that it’s entirely up to the viewer as to whether it’s high art or the worst kind of garbage. His third film is similar to his first two but different in various ways. The Box is as a visually arresting morality tale that has Kelly melding Twilight Zone-ish scenario with Kubrick like visuals and music. It’s a fascinating blend that makes the entire endeavor feel like some metaphysical dream. It’s probably Kelly’s most accessible film as the story and plot stay fairly tight for the most part. That’s not to say there aren’t the typical oddities that Kelly likes to dabble in, there are plenty especially as the film reaches its 3rd act. If you’ve watched his previous films you should know going in that everything won’t have a nice tidy resolution by the films close. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed this type of filmmaking which leaves the final interpretation of its meaning up to the individual viewer. Kelly’s talent as a filmmaker shouldn’t be in doubt even if he does tend to over extend himself too much at times in his story telling. The cast here is up to the task for the most part and give the subject matter sufficient gravitas. Frank Langella’s cold yet empathetic turn as morally nebulous Arlington Steward was the real ....high point.... of the film. Langella possesses an interesting quality to display varying emotions without changing expressions. Cameron Diaz and James Marsden do fairly impressive jobs with the leads. Diaz seems a bit limited by the exaggerated southern accent she’s trying to pull off, most of the time she sounds like Anna Paquin on True Blood. Regardless, she turns in a solid performance throughout. Richard Kelly’s The Box is a fascinating piece of cinema that probably won’t convert any of his detractors or let down his fans.