Viggo Mortensen

When Celebrities Take Over Publishing Companies ...
May 08, 2013

The landscape of celebrity publishing is a dreary one, but it is lucrative.

The Gurney Shot: A Film Critic Goes Behind the Camera—In a Hospital
July 29, 2011

My report of seeing and being seen is a little out of the ordinary this week, and it comes without apologies. Indeed, I am happy to have the report. Explanations to follow. The Gurney Shot is one more addition to the great cavalry charge of tracking shots: on roller-skates, or a bicycle, in a wheelchair, or a studio dolly, in a car, with a Steadicam operated by Dan Gurney (no, probably not, wasn’t he a motor-racing driver?).

Russian Roulette
September 17, 2007

"I am driver," explains Viggo Mortensen early in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. "I go left. I go right. I go straight ahead. That's it." In fact, moviegoers should be pleased to know that the moral maneuvers undertaken by Mortensen's character, a low-level hood in London's Russian underworld, are considerably more interesting than advertised: swerves, veers, dips, even a u-turn or two. In structural terms, the protagonist of the film is a midwife played by Naomi Watts.

The Week In Film
and
September 14, 2007

In case anyone missed them, my take on Paul Haggis's In the Valley of Elah is here, and my thoughts on Julie Taymor's Across the Universe are here. But if you're trying to decide what movie to go to this weekend my strong recommendation would be David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. My full review should be up tomorrow, but here's a short tease: "I am driver," explains Viggo Mortensen early in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. "I go left. I go right. I go straight ahead.

Uncertainty Principle
March 22, 2006

Violence is scary. Violence is sexy. Violence is wrong. Violence is righteous. Violence is a problem. Violence is the solution. Befitting its title, David Cronenberg's film A History of Violence comprises all these definitions and more. Just released on video, the film opens with a pulpy paean to small-town murderousness, as two drifters check out of a dusty, rural motel. The air of lazy depravity is palpable; bad acts are hinted at--"I had a little trouble with the maid," one man tells the other--before they are revealed.