Shutter Island

Release Date: February 19, 2010

Movie of the Day for Friday, April 24, 2009
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On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
10/14 John Seal Perhaps not prime Scorcese, but has its moments
65/123 David Mumpower There were legitimately four different times when I thought, "I hope they don't do that". They did that all four times. Less twists would have made for a much better movie. So very frustrating.
81/190 Max Braden At first I thought, hey this is very Hardy Boys cheesy, then I thought, hey this might be good, and then I thought, hey why did you go through all that effort for this?

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I feel that it’s only fair that before I begin telling you about Ashecliffe, I confess at the outset that I am not a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio. I do not find him to be a compelling actor and even when he’s passably good, it’s only because he had the opportunity to learn his craft on the job. Don’t believe me? Just check out The Man in the Iron Mask and see firsthand what a wretched actor he was. I’ll admit that his recent films were much better, with an okay turn in Catch Me If You Can, a good performance in The Departed and a decidedly self-aware role with a bad accent in Blood Diamond.

But you’re not here to listen to me rant about how much I dislike DiCaprio. You’re on Box Office Prophets because you’re a hard core cinephile and you want to know more about this picture. Well then, Mr. or Ms. Film Aficionado, let me ask you this: if I told you that Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio were teaming up for their fourth collaboration, would you have ever guessed that it would be on a movie based on a book that combines Gothic settings and B-movie archetypes with a plot inspired by the works of the Brontë sisters and Invasion of the Body Snatchers? Any person saying, “yes,” right now is a liar and you know it.

Personally, descriptions of the book upon which the movie is based leave my head spinning. The author played with so many different literary and film genres in the writing of it that I’m hard pressed to imagine a cohesive story coming out of it. Consequently pressing that story into the hands of Scorsese for a movie adaptation reminds me uncomfortably of how Sony Pictures signed Ron Howard to direct a theatrical adaptation of the immaturely written The Da Vinci Code.

Of course, if anyone can do it, it’s good ole Marty. Just two years ago he took a perfectly fun Hong Kong action movie (Internal Affairs for you cinephiles) and turned it into a film that brought home the bacon (i.e. the Best Director Oscar). So far, it’s unknown how faithful Marty will stay to the book, but if the basic shell is retained, the film will center around two U.S. Marshals who investigate the disappearance of a murderer that escapes from a hospital for the criminally insane on Shutter Island. They soon find themselves trapped on the island by a hurricane as well as a prisoner riot and must survive to solve the mystery of the hospital.

Is your head spinning yet? While I’m sure that this story will provide Marty plenty of places for social commentary and DiCaprio with plenty of opportunities for yelling and intense actor-y facial expressions, I will admit that I’m curious about this project. I’m curious to see whether or not Marty holds onto the B-movie stylings of the plot or The Departed-izes it. I’ve heard that nothing says “Second Best Director Oscar” like a story about insane mental patients and U.S. Marshals. (Jason Lee/BOP)

Vital statistics for Shutter Island
Main Cast Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley
Supporting Cast Michelle Williams, Max Von Sydow, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Curtiss Cook
Director Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter Steve Knight
Distributor Paramount
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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