Fracture (2007) Directed by Gregory Hoblit. With Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Starthairn and Rosamund Pike.
Los Angeles. A confident lawyer (Gosling) takes a seemingly straightforward conviction case to prosecute a man (Anthony Hopkins) who has confessed to the attempted murder of his own wife.
Drawing on his vast experience working on law firm thrillers and TV-drama series, director, Gregory Hoblit pieces together an intriguing potboiler propped up by the ever-fascinating presence of Anthony Hopkins, who channels a portion of Dr Lector as he arrogantly sets about discrediting those opposing him, despite his blatant guilt.
Aside from Hopkins’ compelling aura, the film is interesting in as much as it puts the audience in the shoes of the prosecuting Ryan Gosling character. Not only are we privy to Hopkins’ deeds from the first act, at one pivotal turn, Gosling is offered an awkward moral dilemma which prompts will-he-won’t-he tension and self-searching.
The background of Hopkins’ enigmatic character isn’t explored, other than we know he’s a successful man with a beautiful house and an unfaithful wife. This is a drama-thriller that doesn’t want to explain the unnecessary, preferring to focus on getting into its slickly made stride while maintaining an air of mystery. Given the nature of his performance, there’s a strong feeling that we’re being asked to believe Hopkins is an alternate universe Hannibal Lector, toying with Gosling like Clarice Starling.
With good supporting presence from Rosamund Pike and David Strathairn, Fracture is an enjoyably recycled, rainy-night-in. Hopkins turns it into a lot of fun, teasing and taunting his way through each scene as in unison with Ryan Gosling, we increasingly seethe at his audacity. 3.5/5