A remake of an obscure Israeli film, John Madden‘s new film, The Debt, starts in 1965 with Rachel Singer (Jessica Chastain), David (Sam Worthington) and Stefan (Marton Csokas) being congratulated for killing a Dr. Vogel, the Surgeon of Birkenau, a composite of three real Nazi leaders. These perfect-looking Mossad agents carry their celebrity spy status thirty years later. Rachel’s daughter writes a book about them, unfortunately only Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) survive, and elder Rachel comfortably makes the people think the story ends there.
What proceeds and dominates the film are both a flashback and a solid balancing act. Rachel’s the new girl in the field, David welcomes her as his wife, the three learn martial arts and live and eat with each other, cabin fever included. Chastain is the heart of her section of the film. Worthington portrays a multi-faceted David, loving fake husband, butt kicker, wounded soul. Csokas is a believable group leader without trying to mug for the camera. We also see great glimpses of Vogel (Jasper Christensen), who conveys empathy despite being an irredeemable monster.
We forward to the older, bitter versions of Rachel and Stefan, and both learn that they must correct their big mistakes in the mission in different ways. The willing suspension of disbelief is slightly lifted since the elder and younger versions of the characters are never perfectly in sync. Comparisons with Boys of Brazil will be inevitable. I gave it a 4/5, but yes, I was being too nice.
Via ONTD is Ebert’s review of Clash of The Titans. Despite of some snark that I slip every now and then, I think 24.9285714 of you should know that I worry about chicken shit like “No contractions!” or “Verb tense agreement” and shit like that.
But then he unleashes: “So he’s a rapist, just sayin’.” Someone make a shirt.
Mind you this is like the equivalent of Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks being drunk in public at the Globes, or Betty White telling dirty jokes at Bill Shatner’s roast or Barack Obama saying “(Kanye’s) a jackass.” Suppose I haven’t earned that right yet, but nonetheless I feel like I can fart now.
And fine, I’m considering watch this fucking movie. I’m really hesitating to see this movie because I’m a snob but really I’m broke. I haven’t seen a movie drunk since Annie Hall, but I might make an exception. I better not regret this. And ONTD’s also telling me that top model Natalia Vodianova plays Medusa and Agyness Deyn is playing Aphrodite, which is weird since Aphrodite has tits. And the original was ridiculous.
To add to the nerdage, my elementary school life was devoted to making Greek Mythology family trees as well as Royal Family trees as well as I had no friends.
And is it terrible that Sam Worthington hasn’t done anything criminal yet I feel terrible lusting for him already?
FACT: I showed you Ebert making a rape joke. Ebert’s troubled protegé, Will Leitch, used to write dick jokes and rape jokes for a living. Note: I am gay, I don’t read Deadspin nor any sports journalism that doesn’t involve Peyton Manning reappearing on SNL. Peyton Manning is probably a douche but he’s so hot. ANYWAY!
FACT: Norm Wilner reminded us that Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes costar in this movie, both appearing on Steven Spielberg’s “Look at the Snow!” The original “Titans” brought Sir Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith together since doing “Othello” two decades before. The gods bring everybody together.