by Mel Valentin
Edward Norton has, until now, straddled the line between Hollywood actor, working in big, or at least, modestly budgeted films, including the odd blockbuster wannabe (e.g., 2008’s semi-sequel, semi-reboot of [i]The Incredible Hulk[/i]), and small, independently financed and distributed character dramas like last year’s [i]Leaves of Grass[/i], which only received a limited release theatrically and now, after its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last month, [i]Stone[/i], a metaphysical prison drama and Norton’s second collaboration with John Curran, his director on the underrated, underseen period melodrama, [i]The Painted Veil[/i], four years ago. [i]Stone[/i] also reunites Norton with Robert De Niro, his collaborator on the 2001 heist drama [i]The Score[/i].Stone centers on Gerald "Stone" Creeson (Norton), a felon serving a 10-plus year stretch in a Michigan prison for arson. From his voice, mannerisms, and behavior, it’s obvious Stone, whatever his actual intelligence, comes from a working class or lower-middle-class background. He’s supposed to be hard as a rock, impenetrable, unchangeable, but then something surprising happens. Then again, a name like “Gerald” doesn’t exactly exude toughness or manliness. The always challenging, anti-authoritarian attitude, the cornrows, and the constant profanity are necessary (well, maybe not the cornrows) to survive the harsh reality of prison life and a decade-long separation from his wife, (Milla Jovovich).Complete review to come.
"A genre-transcending, if flawed, prison drama."
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=21209&reviewer=402
originally posted: 10/09/10 00:00:00