EVERY MOMENT MATTERS.
When two young girls disappear in a small town, police come up with a suspect (Paul Dano) but not enough to build a case; one of the girls’ father (Hugh Jackman) refuses to accept it. Director Denis Villeneuve’s first American film is a thriller that explores the horror of losing a child and not knowing what happened to her, but it also has an unpredictable story that offers a lot of thrills. Very grim, with appropriately dark, sleet-stained and rainy cinematography, and very intense performances, especially by Jackman as the sturdy carpenter whose drastic actions challenge his faith. Long, and a bit convoluted, but gripping.
2013-U.S. 153 min. Color. Produced by Kira Davis, Broderick Johnson, Adam Kolbrenner, Andrew A. Kosove. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Screenplay: Aaron Guzikowski. Cinematography: Roger Deakins. Cast: Hugh Jackman (Keller Dover), Jake Gyllenhaal (Loki), Viola Davis (Nancy Birch), Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo… Paul Dano.
Trivia: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale were allegedly considered for lead roles; Bryan Singer and Antoine Fuqua for directing duties.
Last word: “When I read the ‘Prisoners’ script I felt a deep connection, but I threw it away because I’d just made two dark movies and I didn’t want to go there again. But in the end what inspires me are sad, dark stories, and let’s face it, the world is not an easy place to live in right now. I feel that cinema is a way to explore my relationship with the world and what I am afraid of. […] Hugh was super easy to direct; he was totally committed. But I felt that sometimes he needed that we walk together in the darkness; I needed to push him a little. I always felt that as an artist he was ready to go into that zone of intensity.” (Villeneuve, SBS)