Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Eclipse (2010)

I loved this movie but it's probably not for everyone. It's essentially a slow-moving character study with a few quick-shock scares thrown in to make it a ghost movie. That combination makes it tonally a little strange but it worked for me. I'll admit I was initially frustrated that the film never explained the ghostly presences but the more I thought about it, the more okay I became with it. This is psychological horror, and it doesn't need to be explained.

Ciaran Hinds, mostly known as a character actor, plays the lead, a woodworking teacher who volunteers at a literary festival in his hometown of Cobh, a seaside town in Ireland. He drives the visiting authors around, which include an arrogant American author played very well by Aidan Quinn--he really finds his inner asshole--and a female author of the supernatural played by Iben Hjejle, who was a romantic history with Aidan Quinn. All three actors turn in amazing performances. Also, the movie looks amazing, partly because of its naturally beautiful location but also its cinematography. Many shots frame the actors at a great distance, dwarfed by landscape and architecture. This will probably be in my top ten at the end of the year.

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