Director John Curran's Stone is truly one of the strongest dramas that I
have seen in quite some time. From despair to redemption for one man, to
redemption to despair for another, Stone is a chilling tale about two
men who are more similar than different.
Brilliantly pieced together by
Curran, Stone features two Hollywood greats that include Robert De Niro
and Edward Norton which are easily some of their best performances to
date. It's also the subtle elements of Stone that make it
so gripping to watch like the religious underpinnings which are littered
throughout the story such as the "churchy" shock jock radio station that is played
in the background.
Even though at times, Stone feels like there are two
different stories running parallel to each other, they are actually
intertwined and revolve around Jack Mabry (De Niro), a parole officer
who is about to retire in a month and Stone (Norton), a man who has been
in jail for 9-years as he was accused and convicted as an accessory to his
Like the religious overtones throughout the story,
Milla Jovovich plays Lucetta, the amoral wife of Stone who has been sent
by her convicted husband to seduce and destroy Mabry. As we soon
discover, Mabry's life is far from perfect and although he has attempted
to live his life righteously, it is far from ideal and even though his
wife Madelyn (Frances Conroy) only has a handful of words, her
expressions and appearance is far more than words could ever convey.
Jack works with Stone to determine whether he is eligible for
parole, Lucetta begins to exploit his weaknesses and straight before our
eyes, both men seem to have a huge role reversal of morals with Stone
discovering "enlightenment" and for Mabry, the destruction of his own
institution, a 43-year old loveless marriage.
At times, Stone is quite a
poetic movie but under its sometimes devastating core, it is quite a
fascinating and insightful drama. De Niro and Norton work amazingly well
together but even the supporting cast members that include Jovovich and
Conroy, one who plays the seductress and the other, the scorned woman
work so well with the story and the two main characters.
Video, Audio & Special Features
Stone supports 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 that looks and
sounds amazing. The video quality of this release is perfect with no
errors whatsoever. With vibrant colours, sharp picture quality and deep
levels of black, this film could almost be considered reference
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 compliments the movie well and everything
sounds crystal clear from foreground voices to background sounds like
weather, insects and cars, it comes together quite well. For special
features, there is a short Making of Stone featurette and some
theatrical trailers and that's about it. It would have been interesting
to have some commentary but alas we don't. Nonetheless, it's still a
very impressive film that comes recommended!