Just about to clinch the biggest account of his career and
on the verge of proposing to his girlfriend, Matthew (Hartnett) thinks he
sees Lisa (Kruger), the love of his life who left him two years before,
in a restaurant. Throwing everything to the wind, he desperately tries to
find her, covering all their old haunts until he finally thinks he has located
her apartment only to be greeted by another woman, also called Lisa (Byrne).
Disoriented and confused, he confides in her, telling his story but as the
two become closer Matthew starts to feel that something isn't right.
Obsession is a powerful thing and can be a stimulating, pulsating
plot device. Wicker Park uses this emotion extremely well.
A remake of the 1996 French film L'Appartement starring Vince
Cassel and Monica Bellucci, Wicker Park switches the story to Chicago and
brings in Josh Hartnett and two up and coming actresses, Rose Byrne and
Diane Kruger. The script than throws these three into a tale of betrayal,
guilt and obsession that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Wicker Park succeeds in creating an interest in the viewer.
You don't really know what you are watching as the story unfolds before
your eyes. Is it a suspense thriller, a romantic drama or even a who-done-it?
This is a script that throws in many different directions and keeps you
guessing until the end. The story unfolds in a series of flashbacks, each
coming from the three lead character's perspectives. As the plot advances,
more of the backstory is revealed until we finally realise what has driven
each of these characters to be in the situation that they are.
The script would be nothing without three fine performances
from the leads. Josh Hartnett is predominately about looks more than he
is talent but in this movie he shows that he might actually be worth watching.
This is an emotional performance from the actor, as his character is torn
between the life he has and the life he longs for. He is a man who can't
life with what if and will do anything to find the woman he adores.
Diane Kruger continues to make waves in the profession as
Lisa. While this is a much smaller part than everyone else, she still has
to be believeable enough for her character to be the object of Matthew's
passion, a woman that he would do anything to see again.
Matthew Lillard conjures up a rather restrained performance
for he, proving that they might actually be more to his talents that been
the best friend of a famous dog. As Luke he is the best friend character
that, unbeknownst to him, plays a pivotal role in the relationship between
three main characters. This is an assured performance that should get the
actor abit more recognition.
Stealing the show is the very talented Rosie Byrne. Arguably
more attractive than Diane Kruger (I made this argument for Troy as well),
the actress dresses down and procures a timid persona that shifts dramatically
as the film progresses. The performance shows the Australian actress's range
and proves that she can handle the complex characters. This could be the
start of a glittering career.
Wicker Park is a romantic drama that has enough intrigue and
twists to keep both men and women entertained. With more than a nod to the
style of Alfred Hitchcock, the plot is engaging and the characters are developed
enough for you to care what final outcome will be. Obsession is powerful
emotion and Wicker Park utilises it very well.
Presented in 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen with a Dolby Digital
5.1 soundtrack, the transfer is very good, as you'd expect from a modern
movie. The picture quality brings out the Chicago/Montreal location, highlighting
the cold and radiant look of the two cities used in the film. The sound
has a strong emphasis on dialogue and never really sets your speakers alight
but you wouldn't expect it of a movie like this.
Audio commentary with Josh Hartnett and director Paul McGuigan
This chatty and informative commentary comes from two people who feel passionate
about the project. The pair explains what 'Wicker Park' actually is and
how cold it was shooting in Chicago and Montreal. The director reveals many
of the technical issues associated with the movie and the pair talk about
the pacing of the film. Characters and casting are also discussed in a commentary
that covers all the bases but never really grabs your undivided attention.
Deleted Scenes (12.32 mins)
Entitled 'The Jeweller', 'The Stairwell', 'First Flashback', 'God is in
the details', 'Share a little something', 'We can see each other', 'Final
run through', 'photograph', 'Phone call', 'Daniel' and 'Breakfast in Bed',
these eleven deleted or extended scenes could have been easily added into
the movie but with a commentary track or introduction, we don't know the
reason why they were cut.
Gag Reel (1.42 mins)
A montage of mishaps and goofs mainly committed by Matthew Lillard and Rose
The Postal Service music video 'Against all Odds' (3.54
A haunting, promotional music video featuring a cover of a Phil Collins
song (but much better)
Previews of 'Racing Stripes', 'Inside I'm Dancing' and 'Raise Your Voice'
A good film gets an average DVD treatment. The absence of
a making of featurette or any interviews with the cast will disappoint fans
of the movie. The commentary track is fine but the lack of any explanation
of the removal of the deleted scenes is frustrating, especially when some
of the scenes were good. The film is still a decent rent however, even though
fans may be disappointed with the bonus material.
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