Ridley Scott's The Counselor is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I read the script for this one, written by well known author Cormac McCarthy, a while back and recently I re-read it after seeing the film's latest, terrific trailer. The film definitely has potential to be among the best movies of the year and here are few reasons why I can't wait to see it:
10. Dean Norris, Goran Visnjic and Natalie Dormer
It's always fun to see those three actors on screen so I'm definitely looking forward to their performances here, however brief they will be. It's still not clear who Visnjic is playing, perhaps a priest? That is a great scene and he would be excellent in the part.
9. Ridley Scott's direction
Scott is a fantastic director and even if the script has problems he is able to make a wonderful movie. Here the script is one of the film's strongest points so I can't wait to see what he does with it.
8. Changes from the script
As great as the script is, there are some problems there. The scenes including people other than main characters are hugely messy and some of the sequences go way too long, mainly the opening scene with Laura and Counselor in bed. I hope most of that was shortened for the sake of the movie. I also hope they made some things a bit clearer - I read that thing twice and I'm still not entirely sure what went down there. It's evident from the trailers changes were indeed made, mainly from the added scene between Malkina and Reiner (when the axe comes through the door, I'll already be gone).
7. The Bolito
The bolito is a device that decapitates a person and then self-destructs. It's a horrifying concept and I'm curious how they handled that on screen.
6. The Cheetahs
Cameron Diaz's character Malkina has two pet cheetahs that are often by her side. I hope they are featured prominently in the movie and that my favorite scene - when she sees one of them on the street and has tears in her eyes - made it to film.
5. The Cinematography
The director of photography here is Dariusz Wolski, who did a terrific job in Prometheus, Sweeney Todd, The Mexican and The Rum Diary as well as in Pirates of the Caribbean films. It's already quite impressive looking movie just from the trailers - the dynamic shots of running cheetahs, focusing the camera on the faces of the actors and the infamous car scene which appears to be shot in a very frantic, scary way.
4. Javier Bardem's performance
While there are many great characters which I'm sure the actors will raise to great performances, Bardem's Reiner is the most layered one. He tells awesome stories, he seems like a lot of fun and he is capable of feeling shock and fear, which in the film with so many tough, uncompromising characters is unique. Bardem has the most to play here in terms of range and it looks like he is doing an awesome job.
3. The Car scene
I read a lot of sick things but this one just blew my mind. The film received very hard R rating which probably means we will just see the beginning of the scene (any more and it's NC-17, unless the camera only shows the faces) and Reiner will tell us what happened in the story he tells to the Counselor. Still, this is messed up and if I read Diaz dropped out because she didn't want to do that scene, I'd understand. She went ahead and stayed and apparently shot at least a bit of it, so kudos to her for her courage.
2. Fassy's breakdown scene
This is the most emotional and possibly the darkest moment of the story and Fassbender completely kills it in trailer alone. This is going to be close to the magnitude of his breakdown in Shame, I can feel it.
1. Cameron Diaz as Malkina
Malkina is a fascinating character. She is a tech-savvy, VERY sexually adventurous sociopath. She is few steps ahead in the game and her own boyfriend fears her because she is capable of everything and he doesn't know "how much she knows". Malkina is seemingly lurking in the shadows but in the reality she has all the answers. In the script she was described as a sexy, dark-haired woman from Buenos Aires. Initially she was going to be played by Angelina Jolie - who fits the description better than Diaz - Jolie dropped out and I keep wondering if it wasn't because of the car moment. Anyways, Diaz sees to be doing a great job based on the trailers - she is mysterious, scary, controlling. The fact that she is an actress who is mostly known from comedy roles will make it even more effective because people won't suspect that she is capable of playing such a character. If the film has a shot at any major nominations it's definitely her and Bardem.
The Counselor opens in US on October 25h and in most European countries on November 14th.