Friday 13 June 2014

"Devil's Knot" (The Guardian 13/06/14)

Devil’s Knot **
Dir: Atom Egoyan. With: Reece Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Dane DeHaan. 114 mins. Cert: 15

Atom Egoyan’s tricky transition to the mainstream continues: this Weinstein-produced assignment slogs dutifully through the least ambiguous take yet on the miscarriage-of-justice that provoked Amy Berg’s West of Memphis, among other documentaries. Reece Witherspoon is given a feathercut and scattered Oscar-reel moments as a blowsy bereaved mother, Colin Firth a permanently furrowed brow as the investigator defending three teenage Satanists. Largely an afterthought, it’s too grim for multiplex consumption, but semi-interesting as an auteurist test case: so full of identifiable Egoyanisms (video, lost children, Elias Koteas) as to resemble 1994’s risky, unsettling Exotica recut into the perfunctory shape of the afternoon TV movie. 

Devil's Knot opens in cinemas nationwide today.

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