The Crucible Reviews
My biggest gripe with the movie however is not the script, but the casting of 90s "it girl" Winona Ryder. She is as irritatingly unbearable here as in all her other films. She ruined Dracula, she ruined Little Women, and there's nothing different about this movie. I can't even fathom why anyone in their right mind would consider her employable, thank God she fell off the map, saving any future films she may have been miscast in. Regarding this particular performance, first of all she puts on a horrible fake British accent, and overacts so melodramatically that she seems like that desperate student trying to impress their high school drama teacher. The idea of her opposite Daniel Day-Lewis is laughable, as she cannot hold her own in a scene with him and makes it seem ridiculously implausible that he would even take an interest in her. Her acting is so forced, stiff, melodramatic and over-the-top yet lacking any real emotion and human depth.
I understand the character is supposed to be obnoxious and hysterical, however the character of Abigail is also supposed to be alluring and mesmerizing, enough to captivate the town, yet Ryder of course is not. The whole time it has you wondering what anyone sees in her. She's so painfully miscast, she's plain and mousy looking even by Puritan standards, she's not charismatic and is downright nails-on-chalkboard annoying. It seems as though the rest of the cast is forcing themselves to believe her in her role. She simply does not deliver as Abigail, the entire time you're wondering why anyone would give this girl a second glance let alone pay her enough mind to take her word on persecuting the townspeople seriously. I would have LOVED to see Kate Winslet or even Nicole Kidman in this role, Both are good actresses (Winslet a great one) with charisma, and both are actually beautiful which would have made Daniel Day-Lewis' interest and affair plausible and believable. Ryder not surprisingly falls flat on her face, and for a woman acting so melodramatically over the top that it would make a Greek tragedy seem monotone, she somehow still manages to fall flat as usual.
It is a shame considering this could have been a much better film with the already weighty performances of Daniel Day-Lewis and Joan Allen. Joan Allen shines as Elizabeth Proctor, now that is an actress. So much emotion and so much feeling yet so little expressed verbally, she and Day-Lewis make an incredible pair as husband and wife in a dysfunctional marriage, and their reconciliation at the end is heart-wrenching. One star for Day-Lewis' performance, one star for Allen's performance, and one star for the story by Arthur Miller. Negative two stars for Winona Ryder, she drags down every movie she's in to the point of being merely bearable and I find myself enjoying the movie despite her, not because of her.
Saw this on 17/3/16
A hard hitting movie about a senseless time where only the bible made sense and every single human being was a fucking superstitious cunt. The crucible is well acted and it has got some good pacing. It could have been good with some better direction, but what it has is never bad. This is a true story about the witch hunts.
Daniel Day Lewis' John Proctor is much better than Ted Cruz's (WHY AM I PERSECUTED!?!?) and that is all that I'll say on that. Whilst I just don't seem to be much of Winona Ryder fan, I do think she works very well as Abigail here and Joan Allen's Elizabeth Proctor would easily steal the show were it not so jam-packed with talent everywhere else too.
If you aren't familiar with the play's story then you can expect a real rollercoaster here, and maybe some tears too, and if you are already familiar then you can expect a faithful re-telling of the events.
The film looks the part and should surely satisfy fans of the source material and the cast involved. If play adaptations aren't your thing though then you may want to give this one as a miss as it's certainly one of them, and doesn't try to hide it.