Directed by: John Curran
Starring: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich and Frances Conroy.
Often, those people who society judge the most are the ones who are locked behind prison bars. However, in the new Overture drama ‘Stone,’ starring Robert DeNiro, Edward Norton and Milla Jovovich, the misconception that prisoners deserve to be judged the harshest is quickly revealed and proven to be wrong. The movie also shows that those people who are the first to point out other people’s faults are often the ones who have something to hide.
‘Stone’s very simplistic plot follows convicted felon Gerald “Stone” Creeson (played by Norton), who is up for parole after serving eight years of a 10-15 year sentence for accessory to murder and arson. In an effort to get released, he tries to convince correctional officer Jack Mabrey (portrayed by DeNiro) that he’s become a spiritual person, and has changed his ways. Stone even has his wife Lucetta (played by Jovovich) seduce Jack, despite the fact that Jack has been married to his wife Madylyn (portrayed by Frances Conroy) for 43 years.
As in all of his roles, DeNiro proves what a committed actor he is by throwing himself into the role. Despite the fact that Jack attends church every week, reads the Bible with Madylyn and seeks advice from one of the bishops at his church, DeNiro still makes the character despicable. Viewers will more than likely loathe Jack, despite his protests to Stone, Lucetta and Madylyn that he is a good person. He constantly judges people and controls those around him, especially his wife, and doesn’t understand why people become upset with him. While Stone is the prisoner and doesn’t always know right from wrong, he at least admits when he knows he’s made mistakes; Jack is definitely the more hated character in the film, as he does whatever he pleases, and doesn’t care who he hurts in the process.
While DeNiro gave another great performance, Norton is the one to watch in ‘Stone.’ While Stone gives Jack an “I don’t care what you do to me” attitude when he first meets him, Norton is able to convincingly turn his character’s personality around. He makes the audience believe that Stone truly wants to better himself, and has become spiritual in the process. While Stone wants Lucetta to constantly harass Jack to get him to expedite his case, Norton is able to turn Stone’s priorities around as the plot goes on.
Jovovich also shines in her role as Lucetta, creating the perfect femme fatale. Not only is she able to convince Stone that she still loves him, even after he spends eight years in jail, she also uses her hidden sexual charm to lure Jack in to help her. Lucetta is also able to lead Jack into compromising situations at work by bringing him presents, and enters into a dangerous personal relationship with him that affects his marriage. While Jovovich doesn’t have many scenes with Norton, when they are on screen together, viewers are left thinking Lucetta really does love Stone. But when Jovovich is next to DeNiro, that belief totally turns around, and viewers are left thinking Lucetta wants to be with Jack.
While Stone and Lucetta’s drive to convince Jack to recommend he be released from prison is the driving force behind the plot, Overture relies more heavily on the actor’s portrayals of their characters to sell the movie. DeNiro, Norton and Jovovich act well off of each other, and really give tension to their relationships. Fans of any of these three actors will surely like this thriller, directed by John Curran, which is now in a limited theatrical release.
Written by: Karen Benardello