While flying his drone, 13-year-old John (Charlie Shotwell) discovers an unfinished bunker in the woods near his family’s isolated home. Without any provocation, he drugs his parents (Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Ehle) and older sister (Taissa Farmiga) and places their unconscious bodies into the bunker. While they are held captive, John heads to their home free to do what he wants.
Screenwriter Nicolás Giacobone excellently adapts his own Short Story. This haunting Psychological Thriller and coming-of-age fable is spellbinding. Giacobone examines the adolescent desire for responsibility and freedom that comes with adulthood. He shows this through John’s frightening act of holding his family hostage; while intelligently showing the immaturity of a teenage boy through impulsive spending, ignoring household tasks and testing his life through a drowning game with his friend. These often-dark scenes show there is a bigger disconnect between childhood and adulthood than responsibility.
The Script is seeping in ambiguity within scenes and characters, therefore, constantly leaving the story open for interpretation. One of Variety‘s Top Ten Directors to Watch, Pascual Sisto, makes his directorial debut with John and the Hole. Sisto heightens this ambiguity with his quiet, haunting atmosphere and grounds this unsettling tale. He creates a mood with the disorienting and sinister use of sound, designed by Nicolas Becker, that cuts right through you. Additionally, Sisto’s use of shallow-focus composition places John at the forefront of each image. This creates the necessary air of authority about this creepy adolescent.
Both Giacobone’s script and Sisto’s direction play with the concept of time. This is integral to the depravity of the act John is committing against his family. We wonder how much time has past since his family has been captive, and how long it’s been since he’s visited them. It’s in these visits, where we see him deliver food, water and clothes, where John’s compassion, or lack thereof, is examined. There are ample layers to John’s blank exterior which helps keep us intrigued and shocked throughout.
Shotwell, who we know from Captain Fantastic, is surrounded by powerhouse talent: Hall, Ehle and Farmiga. Each of them gives stunning performances that expose their privilege, compassion and fear. Yet, it’s Shotwell who is the star of John and the Hole. He gives a chilling, deep performance that has to be seen to be believed. He controls each emotion and power switch within the script and understands and visualizes John’s fixation on adulthood. He is one to watch.
Overall, John and the Hole is an eerie meditation on a child wanting to be an adult and the lengths he’ll go to experience it. It has an outstanding, breakout performance from Shotwell along with powerful performances from Hall, Ehle and Farmiga. It’s a film that will stay with viewers and be discussed for years to come.
John and the Hole screens at Sundance:
Live Premiere: January 29 at 6 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): January 31 at 10 AM (EST)
Definitely one of the Films we’re most stoked about this year, Sofia Coppola‘s (Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides) The Bling Ring soon will see its release, after making a splash in Cannes! See what Critics are raving about already here. I saw it earlier this week and agree, it’s one of this Summer’s best.
And there couldn’t be a better fit than right here with all my Celebrity-obsessed Readers! Mr. Will Wong & eOne Films are thrilled to give you all a chance to attend Advance Screenings of The Bling Ring across Canada! Screenings take place at the following venues on Wednesday, June 19, 2013:
Toronto – Scotiabank Theatre
Ottawa – The Coliseum
Edmonton – South Commons
Calgary – Eau Claire
Winnipeg – Cineplex McGillivary
Halifax – Park Lane
The Docu-Drama based on true events, centers around a group of Teens who mastermind the burglary of several Celebrities. Katie Chang, Israel Broussard,Leslie Mann, Taissa Farmiga, Katie Chang and Emma Watson star.
See the amazing Trailer below:
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This delights me so! After premiering earlier today at the Cannes Film Festival, Sofia Coppola‘s latest effort The Bling Ring, based on true events surrounding a group of Teens who masterminded the burglary of several Celebrity homes, debuts with plenty of praise! I admit, things were looking a bit iffy there with 2010’s plodding Somewhere.
Here’s what some of the Critics are saying about The Bling Ring:
“An unexpected pleasure” – The Guardian
“Sofia Coppola’s most provocative Film yet” – Entertainment Weekly
“The Parents are awful, the Teenagers are repulsive and the Celebrities are removed from reality, but no one gets away clean in Sofia Coppola‘s brilliant Movie” – The Wrap
“The acting is so authentic that it takes a while to differentiate the girls… As such, it will attain a certain stature itself as a Cultural Artifact but without stirring significant interest artistically or commercially.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Though it lacks the name cast and self-consciously outre style of another recent girls-gone-wild opus, Spring Breakers, this lively and fascinating pic should score well with its target hipster demo…” – Variety
As an aside, we saw Coppola last week at the Met Gala in New York City with Marc Jacobs. More on that here!
Have you seen The Bling Ring‘s Trailer yet? Watch it here.
eOne Films releases The Bling Ring on June 21, 2013.