Gall in the family | Movie Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Gall in the family 

Hitchcock's Uncle Charlie is back in Chan-wook Park's Stoker.

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Stoker

Stoker

Foreign filmmakers are rarely well served by their excursions into Hollywood, but for South Korean director Chan-wook Park, the guiding hand of Fox Searchlight may not have been a bad thing: this erotic psychodrama rivals his Oldboy (2003) and Lady Vengeance (2005) in its bold color and delirious compositions but avoids the ritualized sadism that made those films such dubious pleasures. The screenplay—written by first-timer Wentworth Miller but worked over by the kinky Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary, Chloe)—is a sexualized take on Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The young heroine (Mia Wasikowska), traumatized by her father's mysterious death, recoils when his long-lost brother, Charlie (Matthew Goode), starts moving in on her mother (Nicole Kidman); her loathing for this handsome charmer diminishes only as she begins to want him herself and he begins to pull her into his evil orbit. With Phyllis Somerville and Dermot Mulroney.

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