Side Effects (2013)
Tightly scripted, superbly cast and acted, well-crafted movie all around. This is in a conventional story-telling style but the details are so finely tuned it's a pleasure, and a suspense, all through.
I'm not sure who gets more credit, Jude Law in his role as Dr. Banks, a truly well-meaning psychiatrist or Rooney Mara as Emily, the patient (in various stages, and not always so well-meaning). Both are brilliant and believable. You half expect them to click romantically, but that you'll have to see about.
The plot, at first, has to do with Emily dealing with her husband getting out of jail (he was in for insider trading). Then with her depression coping with it all. Then with the pills she's taking for same. Then with the apparent side effects of the medication, which loom as a whole new horror story.
And that's just the beginning. There are surprises (one of them hinted at in the opening scene) and then further and further twists. The plot threatens to get overly sensational but somehow keeps itself in check. So the movie becomes increasingly a thriller with its feet on the ground. Always interesting.
Director Steven Soderbergh is a true artist movie maker. And you can feel things finely tuned and in control here. He has never been the kind of auteur as the famous greats like Coppola or Kubrick or more recently even Nolan (whatever the excesses of the latter). But within the conventions of conventional movies, he usually makes really watchable, polished, and visually beautiful movies. That's very true here.
It isn't what you think--superbly acted and directed (IMDB: 8)
On: 7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM By: secondtake