Will Atom Egoyan’s “The Captive” be a career rebirth for both him and Ryan Reynolds?

Atom Egoyan, the Armenian-Canadian filmmaker, made some of the best under-the-radar films of the 1990s: Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter come to mind. He’s dropped off a bit in recent years with Chloe — good sex scenes, but not a good movie — and Devil’s Knot — interesting premise, but overlong. Similarly, Ryan Reynolds — while always kinda starring in less-than-stellar romantic comedies (and as Deadpool) — seems to have dropped off a bit in recent years (and to add gasoline to that fire, ScarJo is now pregnant with some other dude’s child). But now they’ve both got a shot at the “rebirth” mantra: their film, The Captive, is going to be at Cannes next month. (So will Foxcatcher, which is getting a lot of buzz for Steve Carrell.)

This movie also has Mireille Enos (from The Killing), Rosario Dawson, and Scott Speedman, among others; the plot isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. Essentially, a girl gets abducted and family bonds begin to fray. We saw this to a different extent in Prisoners last year with Hugh Jackman, Paul Dano, et al. Egoyan is good with the “tragedy drives families apart” narrative (minus perhaps Devil’s Knot) and Enos is typically good in the slightly-repressed-female-lead context. Ryan Reynolds as a father racked by guilt / other emotions could be a stretch — I don’t think anyone is completely sure of how good an actor Ryan Reynolds really is aside from his sheer beauty — but if you afford him the benefit of the doubt, it could be a solid film. Hell, Cannes thought so.

If you want some spoilers for the film, read this. There’s something about trees in there, for sure.

Among the 18 contenders for the Palme D’Or, three will be notable Canadian auteurs, including this from David Cronenberg (which seems to feature Robert Pattinson and Julianne Moore having doggy-style sex in a Buick):

Cannes should be interesting, at the very least.

Ted Bauer

One Comment

  1. Nasty comments, dude. Apparently you have not read the raving reviews on Reynolds´ interpretation in ‘The Voices’, presented at Sundance. Congrats, though, for sticking completely out-of context Foxcatcher and ScarJo’s pregnancy in your, um, thingie. Aren’t you a bit too obvious?

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