Thursday, September 6, 2007


Dir. David Cronenberg

Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl

Release date: September 21, 2007

David Cronenberg is back with the follow-up to his critical breakthrough 'A History of Violence', and this time he is serious about grabbing some Oscar love. 'Eastern Promises' is a dark crime-thriller set amidst the Eastern European mafia world of North London, starring Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts.

Cronenberg is one of my favorite directors, with a number of edgy classics under his belt - 'Videodrome', 'The Fly', 'Dead Ringers', 'The Dead Zone', 'Scanners' - as well as off-beat cult classics like 'Crash', 'Rabid', 'eXistenZ', and 'Naked Lunch'. This man deserves some recognition. And as much as it seems Cronenberg may be experiencing a conformative renaissance, his recent films - 'Spider', 'A History of Violence' - remain dark and twisted, yet matured with a newfound artistic precision. It has been said that 'Promises' is extremely violent, not to mention a naked fight sequence with tattoo-laden Mortensen. Therefore, Cronenberg's resurgence may not yet hit its peak, but the momentum is surely building.

Oscar Potential - In my opinion, this one will be a hard sale. Early buzz says the film is a riveting thriller with exceptional performances. After being snubbed for 'History', Mortensen may get a Best Actor nod. More solid though, would be a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Armin Mueller-Stahl. Cronenberg will most likely have to wait until next time.

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