The Reckoning

Release Date: March 5, 2004
Limited release

Paul Bettany is starting to really regret agreeing to star in Blair Witch 3.

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Position Staff In Brief
82/133 Dan Krovich Decent period mystery

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Up to now, Paul Bettany, AKA Mr. Jennifer Connelly, has been primarily known as very talented second banana to Russell Crowe in films such as A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. He returns to the medieval roots he explored in the Heath Ledger film A Knight's Tale with this exploration of corruption and morality.

Bettany will play a 14th century priest who is trying to escape the wrath of his bishop for breaking his vows of chastity. To that end, he joins a rag-tag troupe of traveling performers as cover. Deep in the winter as society is beset by plague, the group arrives in a small town. Though the actors generally put on religious morality plays, they discover that a local mute/deaf girl has been condemned to death for the murder of a young boy. The leader of the troupe, played by Willem Dafoe, seizes the opportunity and the actors take it upon themselves to go around town and gather information about the murder, which they then intertwine into their next performance.

As the play unfolds, the story begins to become larger-than-life, especially as it turns out to be much closer to the potentially dangerous truth than the actors could have ever conceived. It's clear that the accused woman is really innocent of the crime, but the powerful town leaders may have their own reasons for disguising the truth.

The trailer for the film bears an unfortunate similarity to last year's mess The Order, but the book on which The Reckoning is based is very highly regarded. If the story can impart the themes that Barry Unsworth so intricately explored, this small film from Paramount Classics could be a sleeper success. (Kim Hollis)




Vital statistics for The Reckoning
Main Cast Willem Dafoe, Paul Bettany, Brian Cox, Elvira Minguez
Supporting Cast Gina McKee, Vincent Cassel, Ewen Bremner, Matthew Macfadyen
Director Paul McGuigan
Screenwriter Mark Mills
Distributor Paramount Classics
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site http://www.paramountclassics.com/reckoning
Rating R
Running Time 110 minutes
Screen Count 5
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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