Sunday, September 16, 2007

Movie: Eastern Promises (2007)

Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is how it’s done.

And the audience at the Toronto Film Festival agrees. Of course, director David Cronenberg is a hometown boy. He’s long been a favorite of mine, too, never more so now that he’s become a master of the spare thriller. Terrific performances across the board. A harrowing fight scene destined to join the pantheon of greats.

But it’s really the script by Steve Knight that electrified me. It’s an absolute marvel of craftsmanship, using a simple premise – a midwife investigating the short, sad life of a teenage immigrant who died in childbirth – to dive headlong into the world of the Russian mafia and multicultural London. The elegance with which the narrative comes together makes the movie a joy to behold even as it ratchets up the tension. With this movie and Dirty Pretty Things, Knight has put himself into the top rank of screenwriters. See this one.

Miscellaneous: Link

Millard Kaufman, who wrote the great Bad Day at Black Rock and co-created Mr. Magoo, publishes his first novel at age ninety.