On Sunday (19th August) Margaret and I saw a film called "Fracture" It is a courtroom thriller, staring Ryan Gosling as an ambitious District Attorney and Anthony Hopkins as the accused murderer. The plot is well written with the DA realising too late that this apparently "open and shut" case will be much more difficult than he initially realised.
The performance by Gosling has been universally acclaimed, but there is debate on the quality of Hopkins acting. Some (eg David Strattan) claim that Hopkins' performance is "lazy, hitting all the right buttons". Others (such as Margaret Pomeranz) argue that Hopkins also gives a fine performance. I suspect that the source of these differences relates to the two different characters. Gosling is given a more meaty role, with a wide range of circumstances and emotions to portray. Hopkins' character is set up as controlling from the beginning. He decisively points out the source of a plane crash to his engineers in one of the opening scenes, and creates intricate machines with races for balls to roll along. As well the Hopkins character is confidently in control of events through most of the film. It is my view that Hopkins gives an excellent, understated performance of this controlling and manipulative character.
The weakest element of the film is Rosamund Pike's character who is to be the DA's new boss when he moves to private practice. Her character's role in the film seems only as a love interest for Gosling's character. Their relationship does not go anywhere.
Although the film is well plotted, there seems to me to be one unexplained hole. The murderer, (Hopkins character) requires a particular policeman to arrest him at his house for his plan to work. The film does not adequately explain why that cop was the one to arrest him.
Otherwise the resolution of the conundrum running through most of the film - the whereabouts of missing evidence - is handled cleverly.
If the hallmark of a successful movie is satisfaction as you leave the cinema and material for discussion later, then this movie
My rating: four stars.