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‘Stoker’ Featurette: Nicole Kidman’s Family is a Little Unhinged

'Stoker'
Fox Searchlight

Often the early months of the year offer few good movies, which made us nervous about Park Chan-wook‘s ‘Stoker.’ It’s due out in a couple weeks, but word out of Sundance and other screenings has been great (we rather liked it ourselves). Now there’s a featurette that talks about the film’s Southern Gothic flavor.

The film follows Evelyn (Nicole Kidman) and her daughter India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) shortly after Evelyn’s husband dies in a car accident. India’s uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) shows up to live with them, but though at first it seems he’s there to romance Evelyn, he’s also got an eye on India. And then there’s murder in mix.

If the name Uncle Charlie reminds of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Shadow of a Doubt,’ that’s good, because — as is mentioned in the featurette — the film does evoke that master filmmaker. But Park Chan-wook isn’t trying to be the next Brian De Palma, as his earlier films show (like ‘Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance’ and ‘Oldboy’). There’s quite a bit of Roman Polanski in there as well, but it just goes to show that the black comedy/thriller only has a handful of masters. After the release of ‘Stoker,’ perhaps Chan-wook will be considered one of them. ‘Stoker’ opens March 1 in limited release.

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