Those reading my film reviews here on the blog know that I rarely vivisect a bad movie. Generally speaking, I adhere to that old advice: If you don't have something nice to say...
And this is a good movie: solid 'B'. The cast is strong, with the type of ensemble cast that makes you want to go back and look at these actors' finer pieces again. I see Andre Braugher and I want to go get The Mist (very good film). I see David Morse and I want to grab The Crossing Guard again. I see the solid Patrick Wilson and I'm reminded that Lakeview Terrace wasn't too shabby.
And Anne Hathaway is very good; she has a compelling on-screen presence, with that juxtaposition of fair skin, dark hair and super-red (not a real word, of course) lips. She emotes well and, not unlike Hilary Swank, she dominates most scenes she appears in. She's been nominated for an oscar, and I think it won't belong before she gets one (probably more). She plays the naive academic pitch-perfect, which makes the payoff in her epiphany all the more worthwhile. I've added Rachel Getting Married to the queue and I'm pretty excited to see it now.
The opening scene is arresting; there's been a plane crash and, miraculously, a number of singed survivors mull about the accident site in a daze. Hathaway's Claire Summers, a doctoral student in psychology, is tapped to lead group therapy sessions to help the survivors cope with the tragedy.
As members of her group begin to disappear and shadow figures begin to stalk the remaining patients, things become tense. A sense of paranoia is established well, but it fizzles in the center of the film when the pacing bogs down. The doctor crosses a line with one of her patients, Wilson's charismatic Eric, and the romance isn't contrived here--it serves a very satisfying conclusion.
I'll refrain from spoiling it, but the climax and resolution are very strong. You'll see it coming; Jeanne called it way before I did. But that doesn't make it any less powerful.
Give Passengers a try if you'd like to take a look at a decent film that delves into the metaphysical to strong effect...
(hope you enjoyed the foreign-language poster; if you did, click here)