The Statement Reviews
Director: Norman Jewison
Summary: The buried sins of the past almost always find a way to surface in the present, as Frenchman Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine) discovers in this drama directed by Norman Jewison. Pierre's quiet life in southern France is disrupted as he's haunted by his betrayals. During World War II, his Nazi sympathizing led to the deaths of 14 Jews. With a Nazi hunter (Tilda Swinton), the police and hired killers on his trail, it's his turn to be the hunted.
My Thoughts: "The movie grabbed me right from the start with it's brilliant opening, but unfortunately it doesn't keep with that brilliance the entire film. In about thirty minutes in, it gets quite boring. Not one of Caine's best performances, but a movie he did carry on his own. It's basically him going from church to church in hiding. Not very interesting, but the story is. I wish they would have elaborated on it more then just showing Caine's character on the run. Also, what happened to this film being of french characters, they all sounded pretty british to me. Just not well made."
[color=#000000]I had high hopes for [b][i]The Statement[/i][/b] (Michael Caine and Tilda Swinton!) It just did not come close to what I thought it could/should have been. My biggest problem with the film was its ending. The movie ended with a whimper. It had been building, and building suspense and momentum and then just got doused. Other then that, it was an intriguing look at why someone would chose to aid the Nazis and commit war crimes. It did a good job on those points and making one look at the other side.[/color]
[color=#000000]Both these films had [b]Tilda Swinton[/b]. She has been a favorite actress of mine for some time. Not sure why, but I always enjoy her performances and her spin on her characters (especially some of the more small and out-there characters - Gabriel in [i]Constantine[/i]). The same is true here. She was a very interesting Mother figure in [i][b]Thumbsucker[/b][/i] and I could see her completely as the part, but it was nothing compared to her part or role in [b][i]The Deep End[/i][/b]. I think about that film every time I see Ms. Swinton somewhere.[/color]
Strange film. Hope Davis and Campbell Scott are two dentists who are married and also share a practice. And they have three young and very demanding daughters. At the start of the film, the wife, Dana, has been singing in the chorus of a community opera group. But rehearsals aren't the only thing creating a distance between her and the rest of the family. Her husband Dave sees her sharing an intimate moment with another man. Dave loves his wife and is a devoted father, and the one parent who the kids can depend on to take care of them. Although he loves Dana, he won't talk to her. The one time she tries to talk to him, he pretends to be asleep. He is too afraid of what she might say. There is an episode when the family's gone to spend a weekend at their cabin in the woods. Dave spends his time running one noisy gardening tool after another because he's afraid Dana plans to confess her affair and he doesn't want to give her a chance to talk. We know what Dave is thinking and fantaszing about because he has the personification of his subconscious to talk to. This figure is present in the form of a recent patient (Dennis Leary) who turned out to be the patient from hell. As long as Dave is going through this crisis, this guy is present. It's a bizarre bit of unreality that gets old after a while. The performances from Campbell Scott, Hope Davis and Dennis Leary are pretty good, but the children are really annoying. Watching it I became frustrated with both the husband and wife, and ultimately found the movie to be rather tedious, a little depressing and overall disappointing.
[b]The Statement (2003)[/b]
I can't blame the actors for this film not being more successful. The strong cast, headed by Michael Caine, does what it can with a script that seems to lack focus. Caine is an aging former Nazi collaborator who is still being hunted nearly fifty years after the war. The most interesting aspect to his flight for his life is the way he repeatedly turns to supporters in the Catholic church to help save his life while he can't seem to find the spiritual means to ablsolve the guilt that plagues him. This internal struggle is pushed to the background while the script moves back and forth between the police investigation of those pursuing Caine's character, his movements as he flees from one monastery to another, and a murky present-day government plot that also aims to do him in, though why and who benefits is never clear.