This week, Cineast gives an advance look at The Other Woman, The Quiet Ones and Locke.
The Other Woman
In the comedy The Other Woman, Cameron Diaz plays Carly Whitten, who thinks she’s found the man for her in the sexy, wealthy Mark King (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). But Mark, as it turns out, is already married to Kate, played by Leslie Mann. As unlikely as it seems, Carly and Kate become friends over way too many tequila shots, and soon they’re plotting revenge on Mark—who, as it turns out, has at least one more woman up his sleeve, the young and air-headed Amber (Kate Upton), who becomes a co-conspirator in their plans. What follows is fairly standard chick-flick fare, with a certain amount of guaranteed jokes about inflicting punishment on male genitalia. There’s even a subplot about Kate surreptitiously feeding Mark female hormones, causing him to come down with a case of man-boobs. Some scenes are set in the Hamptons.
The Quiet Ones
Not for the squeamish, The Quiet Ones is a scare flick of the grainy footage/sudden shock variety. Set at a British university in 1974, and supposedly based on real events, the film features a variation of the exorcism plot: a pretty, innocent young girl is possessed by some kind of demon, but instead of bringing in a priest, a college professor wants to effect a scientific cure. He enlists his students as assistants, and all is documented with the blokey 16mm film cameras of the era (hence the grainy footage). The British college setting, bringing its mixture of the gothic with healthy contingents of careless youth, should work well for a spooky thrill ride.
Locke is an interesting specimen. It’s a film with a fairly conventional story arc—a man named Ivan Locke undergoes a transformation brought about by life-changing events. But the film, written and directed by Steven Knight, tells its story using a quite experimental technique. The entire film takes place as the title character drives down the highway at night, and all of the dramatic events take place via conversations: real conversations that Locke has on his cellphone (hands free, of course) while driving, and imaginary conversations that Locke has with his deceased father. Alfred Hitchcock, of course, experimented with such extreme limitations of film space, such as in Lifeboat where all of the action takes place in, well, a lifeboat, and in Rope where all of the action takes place in one living room. But Hitchcock always had more than one face to focus on, whereas here the director gives us one man, Locke, played by Tom Hardy, and a series of disembodied voices. Locke, which opened in England last year, has received generally positive reviews.