Mineshaft Gap

It's a screening log, no more no less. Maybe I'll have something interesting to say one of these days...

Violence leads only to violence.

I have no particular allegiance to David Cronenberg. I've seen several of his films, and I have a perverse love of Existenz, but nothing I've seen has ever pulled me in and compelled me. Last night, though, I saw A History of Violence.

I think audiences are going to have a very interesting reaction to this film. The one I saw it with absolutely hated it. To quote the woman sitting behind me, "We was ripped." This of course after an ending that ranks with the most note perfect endings of all time. This after a film that asks you to examine our own attraction to violence.

Viggo Mortenson delivers his very best performance here, one upping Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers by playing two characters simultaneously. His decent, caring Tom Stall always masks the Joey Cusak lying inside himself, but just barely. Tom Stall is a man that knew what horrors he was capable of and decided to run away into himself.

A History of Violence wants us to look at violence not as a transitory state, but more from the view of Thomas Hobbes, who thought that humans were inherently selfish and brutal. Utter devistation comes from Tom's act of violence, even the initial act that was in self defense. Cronenberg doesn't seem to be arguing for pacifism, but is definitely showing the violence only begets violence.

With a strong script, amazing performances(especially Viggo and Maria Bello), and the sure hand of David Cronenberg guiding the ship A History of Violence hits every note it wants to with devastating effect. Many people, lured in by Aragorn in a new action movie, will not want to ask the film's questions. Those who do will see its greatness.

Current 2005 Top 10:
1. A History of Violence
2. Broken Flowers
3. The Constant Gardener
4. Last Days
5. Hustle & Flow
6. Kung Fu Hustle
7. Batman Begins
The 40 Year Old Virgin
9. Grizzly Man
10. Junebug

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