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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.31.13] thriller

Canadian director Denis Villeneuve first emerged on the Canadian film front with an odd little film titled Maelstrom. The story was interesting but what really stood out was Villeneuve's strong storytelling and visual style which he cemented with the release, a few years later, of Polytechnique. A dramatization of the 1989 Montreal Massacre, Polytechnique was a spectacular achievement in storytelling and direction, a movie which tackled a difficult subject with care. Two years ago Villeneuve adapted Wajdi Mouawad's award winning play and Incendies (review) ushered in the arrival of Villeneuve on the international scene.

For his next move, Villeneuve is making a lot of changes. He's tackling his first English language project and for the first time, directing from a script he didn't have a hand in writing. Prisoners stars Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard and Viola Davis as parents of two girls who go missing. Jake Gyllenhaal is the cop searching for the missing girls while Paul Dano takes on the role of the supposed kidnapper. It's a fairly straight forward story but as expected from Villeneuve, the trailer delivers far more than your average thriller. Master cinematographer Roger Deakins and Villeneuve team up for the first time and the result looks nothing short of amazing. Gorgeous cinematography, great acting talent, all wrapped in an interesting story that seems to play into Villenueve's fascination with morality? Yes please!

Prisoners opens September 20.

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