#REVIEW: “OUT OF THE FURNACE”
After wowing Audiences in 2009 with Oscar-winning Crazy Heart, Writer/Director Scott Cooper looks to build upon his already spotless Resume with this his sophomore effort, Out of the Furnace. A special Film this is indeed, the type that grabs you early and never surrendering its hold, with a prevailing sense of uncertainty throughout. We are never quite sure where Cooper is taking us, but we are certain that we want don’t want to step-off.
The Thriller-Drama centers on Russell Baze (Christian Bale) and his younger Brother Rodney (Casey Affleck) who have lived in a Northeastern Milltown their entire lives. After repeatedly being called back to Service, Rodney is left numbed and without direction, finding himself fighting in the Underground Circuit to earn a living. Russell, a good Man, finds himself in prison as fate would have it. Rodney falls deeper into an unforgiving Ring of Crime run by Harlan DeGroat (Woody Harrelson), while Russell once again earns back his freedom. He must decide at what cost he is willing to do what he feels is right after learning of Rodney‘s disappearance, taking matters into his own hands despite the watchful eyes of the Law being fixed upon him.
Not enough can be said about Bale’s phenomenal Performance here, delivering a poised iciness – always in the Driver’s Seat even when the odds are against his favour. He captures with grace a perfect vulnerability that comes with Russell‘s heartbreak when being faced with the loss of love with Lena (Zoe Saldana) and is outright fearsome in the face of a challenge from Harrelson‘s Harlan – the latter just terrific as a ruthless Villain. One tense face-to-face moment involving him and Affleck is absolute cine-magic. The grossly- underutilized Affleck also is in fine form here, stepping-up to the physical challenge of his role convincingly, shining with his fire when contrasted with Bale‘s coolness. In a year of several solid performances from Hollywood’s Male Contingent, Out of the Furnace certainly is not one to be ignored this Awards Season.
VVS Films releases the outstanding Out of the Furnace on Friday, December 6, 2013.