Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Movie Review: Stay

Stay is a beautifully constructed mindbender that will stay with you even after you leave the cinema. Sam Foster (Ewan McGregor) is a psychiatrist, who lives with an ex-patient (Naomi Watts) who has a history of suicide. Sam is filling in for one of his colleagues who is sitting home in the dark in a state of severe depression. One of her clients is Henry (Ryan Gosling), a suicidal student who is going to kill himself in three days. Sam has to try to work out what is going on and, as the days go by, he begins to experience similar delusions and other "weird" experiences to Henry. Finally, just before the credits roll it all comes together (sort of). Stay is superbly crafted with cinematography that reflects the confusion and delusional experiences of the characters. In fact, the style of the movie is essential to understand in order to understand the movie. Transitions from scene-to-scene are very clever and give the impression that everything is connected and not what they seem. You think you are still in one scene then find yourself in another. The plot is truly intriguing and it takes some thinking to work out what has been going on even after the final scene. I spent the credits trying to work it all out. I can't, of course, tell you my conclusion because that would give the game away entirely! I am not a great fan of Ewan McGregor, but I thought he was excellent in this movie. Ryan Gosling, as the troubled student, is also very good. Stay is a slick, compelling, intriguing psychological thriller with a surprise ending that is worth 'stay'ing for. My Rating: ****(out of 5) Positive Review 'The ending is an explanation, but not a solution. For a solution we have to think back through the whole film, and now the visual style becomes a guide. It is an illustration of the way the materials of life can be shaped for the purposes of the moment.' - Roger Ebert/Chicago Sun-Times Negative Review 'Neither thrilling nor psychological, but it's chicly shot and edited and is pretty much art-directed to death.' - Wesley Morris/Boston Globe Content Warning Suicide themes; moderate coarse language; sexual references

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