Mysteries, quests and shady characters are some of my favourite things about winter movies. (I personally challenge you to dispute that comedy is best viewed while wearing shorts!) Leonardo DiCaprio trapped in an insane asylum? Definitely!
Martin Scorsese's new thriller, "Shutter Island," based on the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, takes place in the 1950's and tells the tale of two U.S. marshals sent to a sketchy Massachusetts island to investigate the disappearance of a patient from a hospital for the criminally insane. Smoke, mirrors and deceptions, along with a hurricane and an inmate riot, trap them in the fray and sanity becomes a relative term.
What to watch while you wait:
Scorsese has sighted Orson Welles' adaptation of Kafka's "The Trial" as a major influence on "Shutter Island," specifically the winding, tunneling institutional hallways, claustrophobic spaces, and angular lenses. "The Trial" is a highly recommended NetFlick for those who are into this stuff -- amazingly tense storytelling and dramatically composed shots, it's an often overlooked Welles movie these days, but definitely one worth seeing.
"Shutter Island" comes out on February 19th.
Mark Ruffalo plays Leonardo's partner, and the cast features, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Max Von Sydow and Elias Koteas. The film was shot at various locations in Massachusetts by cinematographer Robert Richardson, whose work you may be more familiar with in collaboration with Oliver Stone, and the result looks like a good mix of Richardson's influence on Scorsese's signature swooping movements and elegant follows. It was also edited by Scorsese regular, Thelma Schoonmaker, who has a classic touch for creating drama.