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Spider
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Spider Review

Directed By: David Cronenberg.
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Lynn Redgrave, John Neville.

Synopsis: Dennis Clegg (Fiennes) is in his late thirties and just fresh to a London halfway house for the mentally ill. He has spent his entire adult life in institutions to deal with his acute schizophrenia...and we the audience have the (mis-)fortune of suffering through his memories as he slowly begins to realize what his past may have entailed.

There are many reasons to both praise and criticize this movie. Praise for the performances, easily enough, all are top notch and Fiennes is painfully, painfully brilliant. In fact, everybody is great, Byrne, Richardson, Redgrave, and it was so nice seeing John Neville in a film again!

However, I can not tolerate slow pacing, even when, and this is a prime candidate, the subject matter screams out for it. Sadly, what with the release of A Beautiful Mind last year it will undoubtedly become a comparison point. The difference between the two films though is night and day. Cronenberg is as Cronenberg does. Nothing half assed, and nothing left untouched by some feeling of foreboding and creepiness.

Spider (Fiennes) so-called by his mother for his penchant of creating webs with threads in rooms recalls his life as he is supposed to be getting better, leaving an institution for a halfway house and hopefully a happier life. But as time passes, the memories come thicker, longer, and you realize you are not sure what are his memories, and what are his delusions within the memories and all of this leads you wondering how horrible it will all turn out and how bad will you feel when it ends.

What I do love about this film is that it is coherent and completely makes sense...leaves nothing to wild interpretations like some other recent works of Cronenbergs (Crash anyone?). I have always found Cronenberg a unique voice in cinema, even his failures (like Crash, which I am sorry, is pretentious as all hell) have a style and compelling vision unto themselves. It's hard to begrudge an art-house film maker who accidentally stumbled into main stream success for awhile and then returned to his roots.

An art house film, sure to be praised by the critics and unseen by the popcorn masses.

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Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul



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