"Bag of Bones"
Directed by Gore Verbinski
Written by Tony Gilroy
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography by Bojan Bazelli
Edited by Craig Wood
Aaron Eckhart as Mike Noonan
Gwyneth Paltrow as Mattie Devore
Max Von Sydow as Max Devore
Joey Bryant as Sarah Tidwell
Geraldine Chaplin as Rogette
Natascha McElhone as Johanna Noonan
Marlene Lawstone as Kyra Devore
Tagline: "Should we pay for the mistakes from the past carried in our blood?"
Synopsis: Mike Noonan suffers a big writer’s block after the death of his pregnant wife, Johanna, from a brain aneurism. Mike languishes for years after his wife's death, and he finds himself unable to write without going into panic attacks. Mike starts having strange nightmares set at his summer home, in a small town near the lake and he decides to fight his fears and tries to spend a while there. Mike meets Mattie Devore, a widow who will be his only friend in town. Mattie hasn’t any money and she lives in a caravan with her little daughter Kyra. Mattie is being blackmailed by her father in law, Max Devore, who never approve his son's marriage and who wants the custody of his granddaughter Kyra. Mike fells an instant affection for Mattie, so he decides to help her and he hires a lawyer as an act of kindness. Max Devore appears dead in his home which seemingly leaves Mattie and Kyra free from his influence, but max Devore’s assistant, Rogette, continues attacking Mattie and her new friend Mike. Mike quarrels Johanna used to go frequently to the town, even he thinks that he can see her in the house. Mike begins to write again while both Kyra and he build a psychic connection, experiencing paranormal phenomena in their respective homes. Mattie talks to Mike about a long time ago missing woman called Sarah Tidwell, a blues singer how owned his house, and he realizes that maybe she is the ghost he felt in his house. He starts thinking that maybe Johanna is trying to help him to solve the mystery of Sara.
But everything is going to be worst and one day Mattie is shot from a car and she dies in her caravan, so Mike has to take Kyra back to his lake house to protect her from Rogette. He begins to have thoughts of drowning Kyra while she sleeps, before killing himself. He can’t understand his nightmares and there are still unsolved pieces of the mystery and he wants to know what is happening. One night he sees Johanna walking to a closed room and he discovers some documents that she hid before her death and among the papers is a genealogy tree showing Mike's blood relationship with one of the families of the town. Mike continues feeling Sara's influence to take Kyra to the lake just to drown her, but he fights it off. Strangly he can remember where is Sarah’s body and he leaves the house to search for Sara's grave site, knowing that the only way to break the curse and keep Kyra safe would be to destroy Sara's bones. On his way to where Mike knows Sara is buried, the ghosts of Max Devore and several other town men appear to him and try to block him from getting to the grave. Mike gets into a space-time fissure and he has a clear vision of all that men raping and killing Sara, long time ago. He is one of the rapists and Sarah tries to stop Mike of drowning her son in the lake. Meanwhile Rogette kidnaps Kyra with the intention of drowning her but she can escape with the help of her mother. Mike works to dig up and destroy Sara's bones, trying to break the curse. But maybe he has to pay for what his forefather did to Sara and her son in the past.
What the Press would say:
Many are the films about children, curses and supernatural events but there is something new in this remarkable adaptation of a terrifying ghost modern tale. “Bag of Bones” is based on one of the best Stephen King’s novels, and one of the hardest to adapt because its complexity. But this is a screenplay with a hard plot and very solid characters, with very different motivations, giving a great strength and verisimilitude to the main story. Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Bourne saga, Dolores Claiborne...) takes the essence of the novel, keeping the power of the story and giving a master touch in the fantastic parts of this ghost story.
Gore Verbinski takes this ghost story and builds something beyond the typical clues of the genre, turning the drama of the spooky characters into the real horror. The atmosphere of this film reminds the great classics of the genre in the 70s and the terror is showed at the day light, with no tricks and half shadows. This is definitely a director's film. The actors play their roles perfectly and are appropriately shocked at the proper moments, but it is Gore Verbinski's deft touch that makes it work. Verbinski is wise enough to know that in a thriller, less is more. There are some genuine horror moments, but there are many more clever ones that make this film something beyond an usual horror movie. We can see quality in its images, its dialogues and interpretations. It is obvious that the money has been useful, and it has been well spent to get what the director had in mind. He is a director who has made a lot of money for the producers and he has the power to choose and to ask for whatever he wants.
"Bag of Bones" keeps you thrilled right up until the end, because it is really never over until it is over. You will leave the theatre with a good sensation. You will think that you’ve spent a good time watching a very good movie at the same time.
Best Director: Gore Verbinski
Best Adapted Screenplay: Tony Gilroy
Best Leading Actor: Aaron Eckhart
Best Leading Actress: Gwyneth Paltrow
Best Supporting Actor: Max Von Sydow
Best Supporting Actress: Geraldine Chaplin
Best Supporting Actress: Joey Bryant