I have been waiting for this movie for ages, it seems. First it was to come out in November (I believe) but got pushed to February thanks to Avatar.
Opening night! Me and my besties had a Girl's Night Out. Dinner and a movie. Haven't done that it FOREVER it seems. So much fun. Now on to the movie.
One word: Hitchcock.
Completely done in the style of Alfred Hitchcock (at least I think so). Very little blood, guts, and gore. Not very scary. Suspensful? Eh, some. But it IS a psychological thriller.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is (and don't worry this isn't a spoiler) is when Teddy (Leonardo Di Caprio) hears the voice of Max von Sydow. Max is seated in a highback leather chair, which it turned diagonally to a roaring fire. The writer makes you wait to see his face....the camera pans around the back of the chair, only to continue to pan because the chair protrudes on the sides like wings. Right before you see his face and as the camera continues to pan, a vase on the table obstructs your view.
Excellent writing! The writer, Laeta Kalogridis, has the audience wait, wait, and wait to see his face. We, as an audience are suffering! We want to see who this guy is...this mysterious man.
We were in a packed theater. As the scene progressed, I listened to the audience's reaction. They were strained a bit with the wings of the chair, but when the vase was in the way, audible voices: "Oh man, come on!" "WTF? Move the f-ing vase!" "God, come on, I wanna see the guy!"
Wonderful reactions! Great writing! So suspenseful. Go see it.
I think this is one of the most well written screenplays I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. I think it's one of the best adaptations I have ever seen. (The book by the same name is by Dennis Lehane, who also authored Gone Baby Gone and Mystic River).
The direction by Martin Scorsese was superb. The set up of potentially creepy scenes was very well done. His use of characters, the actors, everything really, was fabulous. Truly felt I was watching Hitchcock. (Except with better music).
But the writing. The writing is GREAT.