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It is interesting to see that David Cronenberg develops some form of mainstream talent that seems quite inconceivable when looking at his early works. It appears he found a fascinating way to stick to his old topics of obsession, yet present it in a form that is more accessible to those who do not so much appreciate the sight of exploding heads or non-living things being inserted in living bodies, if you get what I mean…
After “History of Violence”, now “Eastern Promises” as some form of beginning of a “Viggo Mortensen Trilogy”? Would not be the worst trilogy, indeed, as Mortensen appears to move towards an honourable seat in the actors’ olymp. He is intense, he is very uncompromising in what he plays, he is maybe one of very few actors who can play a deadly fight wearing nothing but his skin, and still come across credible and impressive.
This story about the Russian mafia in London may suffer a bit from an Armin Müller-Stahlwho is not too believable as Russian mob and restaurant owner. But the charme of the London location, the sheer force of Mortensen’s play, and the quality of Vincent Cassel make up for that. And I guess we have lined up the Oscar race now between Mortensen, Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem? That will be interesting, indeed.
Mark-Kermode’s enthusiasm

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