Rooney Mara, Jude Law
Now on DVD and Blu- ray
IT doesn’t take this psychological thriller long to get its hooks into you – and when it does the tale of a young woman whose reaction to an anti- depressant drug unravels her world will keep you thoroughly absorbed.
THIN ICE ( M)
Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin Director: Jill Sprecher Available: Now on DVD
A LIKEABLE cast and some sinister goings- on save this dark comedy about a fi nancially troubled insurance salesman trying to scam an old man out of an expensive violin from a convoluted twist that’s almost too smart for its own good. GREAT EXPECTATIONS ( M)
Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter Director: Mike Newell Available: Now on DVD and Blu- ray
THE story is still a joy and the production looks good, but this adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic about a young orphan boy who grows up to become a gentleman does have a dryness about it. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES ( M)
Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich Director: Richard LaGravenese
Now on DVD and Blu- ray
IT may have a few visual niceties and pleasant performances but this supernatural love story centred on a young witch and her human beau conjures up feelings of the Twilight saga, and that still hurts … bad!
VIGGO Mortensen appears to be apologising. For not being the movie star some might want him to be. For not playing more Aragorn- types. For being more focused on his art than his wallet. For fi nding the stories that sing to him in indie scripts rather than big studio blockbusters.
“I’m not just stubbornly trying to avoid making movies that people will see, it’s not that at all,” Mortensen laughed.
“It just happens … maybe the next one I do will be a more mainstream movie, or a biggerbudget movie, or have wider distribution.
“But it’s not what I’m in the habit of doing, planning too far ahead or trying to calculate, I need to do a studio movie for the next stage of my career.
“I do understand that by doing the kinds of movies I’ve ended up doing – people have short attention spans in the mainstream movie- going public – it’s kind of, ‘ Where has he been?’” The answer is: working. It has been a decade since Mortensen’s ultimate movie hero moment in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. And in those 10 years, he says he’s “had a lot of luck”.
“The luck to work with great directors, great actors, great crew and in some amazing locations,” he added.
Mortensen believes the kinds of fi lms he’s made – whether apocalyptic such as The Road, Golden Globe- nominated such as A Dangerous Method, or in a language other than English, such as his latest Argentine effort Everybody Has a Plan – do end up getting seen by virtue of their quality.
Made with Australian director John Hillcoat, The Road is one Mortensen is especially proud of, even though he found the failures of its release and promotion extremely frustrating at the time, while Everybody Has a Plan is equally close to the 54- year- old’s heart.
Mortensen, who spent a large chunk of his childhood in Argentina and speaks Argentineaccented Spanish, said Everybody Has a Plan was his chance to be part of the country’s fi lm history.
He plays two characters in the moody drama: a well- to- do city doctor, Augustin, and his twin brother, Pedro, who lives in the backwaters of the Tigre Delta and is mixed up in criminal activity.
When Pedro reveals he has cancer, Augustin sees a chance to assume Pedro’s identity and escape into his shady world.
The role came Mortensen’s way through an unusual route. He met the director, Ana Piterbarg, while visiting the clubrooms of his favourite soccer team in Argentina.
After reading the fi rst- timer’s script, Mortensen signed on not just as an actor but as producer and subtitles overseer, as he didn’t want the nuances to be lost in translation.
Mortensen has since made a second fi lm in Argentina, an untitled guerrilla- style movie with director Lisandro Alonso, and his next project, Far From Men, will take him to Africa. Before those projects, he had the rare pleasure of wandering around inside the Parthenon in Greece while making The Two Faces of January with Kirsten Dunst.
But he’s unlikely to get another New Zealand stamp in his passport any time soon.
Mortensen saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on opening day in Argentina and enjoyed the trip down memory lane, but he has not been called on to pick up Aragorn’s sword for either of the next two fi lms in Peter Jackson’s trilogy.
Although Mortensen joked the length of those three fi lms would feel “more like six”, he’s not at all surprised to hear Jackson is still shooting in Wellington.
“I’m sure they’ll be shooting next year to prepare for the third one,” he said.
“The ratio of what Peter tends to shoot and what he tends to use is incredibly lop- sided.”
And while it seems unlikely he’ll return to the fi ctional universe Middle- Earth, it’s possible Mortensen will never again devote so much of his time to one project as he did for the Lord of the Rings fi lms.
“I have nothing against doing another epic project like that, but it would have to be as good or better than that one,” he said.
“There’s not enough money that’s worth giving up that much time.”
EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN Now showing State Cinema