A History of Violence
Winter 2006 Edge series
Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 4:00pm
Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 7:00pm
Rated 18A ·
A gripping thriller with an all-star cast, A History of Violence, the latest offering from David Cronenberg, was one of the most talked about films at last year’s Festival de Cannes and at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was lauded by critics as a contemporary masterpiece.
The cleverly plotted, tautly constructed movie follows Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen, The Lord of the Rings), who is living a happy and quiet life with his lawyer wife (Maria Bello, The Cooler) and their two children in the small town of Millbrook, Indiana. But their idyllic existence is shattered one night when Tom foils a vicious attempted robbery in his diner, saving his customers and friends in the self-defense killings of two wanted criminals. Suddenly, he becomes the hero of his small town and reporters begin arriving from everywhere to interview him. Just as all the fuss is calming down, a certain Carl Fogarty (Ed Harris, The Hours) rolls in with his henchmen, convinced he has recognized Tom as Joey, a long-lost former member of his gang. No matter how vehemently Tom denies it, Fogarty continues harassing him. Tom’s life is turned upside down, and it’s only the beginning.
Rich with detail and slick cinematography, the film finds Cronenberg skillfully navigating a more mainstream tone while still delivering the disturbing and intriguing undercurrents his fans have come to expect. Comparing the film to a Hitchcock thriller where an innocent man is mistaken by some very scary people and drawn into a world he’d rather not know anything about, Cronenberg has delivered perhaps his most engrossing film to date.