Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Next Three Days

The Next Three Days / The Next Three Days. US © 2010 Lionsgate Films. P: Olivier Delbosc, Paul Haggis, Marc Missonnier, Michael Nozik. D+SC: Paul Haggis - based on the screenplay by Fred Cavayé and Guillaume Lemans for Pour elle (Anything for Her / Kaiken se kestää, FR 2007). DP: Stéphane Fontaine - shot on 35 mm (Super 35 3-perf) - digital intermediate 2k by  Efilm - 2,35:1 (. PD: Laurence Bennett. Cost: Abigail Murray. Make-up: Kelley Mitchell. Hair: Roxanne Wightman. M: Danny Elfman, Alberto Iglesias. S: Lon Bender. ED: Jo Francis. Loc: Pittsburg (Philadelphia), Taganga and Cartagena (Columbia). Cast: Russell Crowe (John Brennan), Elizabeth Banks (Lara Brennan), Michael Buie (Mick Brennan), Brian Dennehy (George Brennan), Liam Neeson (Damon Pennington). 135 min. Released by FS Film with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Juho Lähde / Saliven Gustavson. DCP viewed at Tennispalatsi 11, Helsinki, 27 Nov 2010 (Finnish premiere weekend, U.S. premiere was on 19 Nov 2010).

I failed to see the French original which had its Helsinki premiere in July 2009 (I was then on my summer holiday in the countryside), so I cannot compare the two films. I was impressed by The Next Three Days as a suspense thriller. In Hollywood, the predictable approach would have been to make it an action picture, but this film is suspense-driven, based more on psychology than action. It has several original and interesting suspense moments, and I liked the way we the audience are kept insecure of Lara's innocence to murder. John the husband never hesitates because he knows his wife. Lara can be tough and aggressive but she is not a murderer. Most thrillers one forgets as soon as they are over, but this one keeps growing in one's mind days afterwards. Paul Haggis has been a consistently interesting film-maker, and this a strong new entry in his oeuvre. The grave subtext is the question of justice. All evidence certainly points to Lara's guilt, but she is innocent. - There is a more sensitive aspect to Russell Crowe's star persona in this picture. - The digital intermediate look is evident in nature footage (the trees), but otherwise the 2k transfer is fine.

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