Knowing

I saw Knowing last night.  I only went because I got free tickets to a preview screening.  It’s not something I would have chosen to go see in normal circumstances because I’m not a Nicolas Cage fan (IMO, Ghost Rider and National Treasure aren’t much good) and he is the lead actor in this movie, but I did see it and I ended up really, really liking it.

Knowing poster

 

Synopsis

Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage (National Treasure 2, Leaving Las Vegas) stars in KNOWING, the next gripping action-thriller of global proportions from Australian visionary Alex Proyas (I, Robot, The Crow).
When a professor stumbles on a set of coded numbers, written in 1959 and buried in a time capsule at his son’s school, he makes a startling discovery. The cryptic message predicts every major disaster of the past 50 years and holds chilling predictions about future catastrophes—the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale.
Rose Byrne (Troy, Two Hands), Ben Mendelsohn (Australia, ‘Love My Way’) and Chandler Canterbury (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) also star in this riveting feature about a father’s desperate battle to save his child—and the world.

 

Trailer

 

Knowing is convincing, entertaining and thought-provoking and Nicolas Cage is actually quite good in it.  Mostly, he delivers exactly what is needed, but there are a few moments that just seem wrong e.g. when his charcter, John, is in conversation with Rose Byrne’s character, Diana, there is a line “I know how you feel” and instead of being touching, comforting or in any way empathic, it comes across as creepy.

 

John Koestler (allmoviephoto.com)

 

Rose Byrne (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, I Capture the Castle, Troy, Casanova, Marie Antoinette, Damages) is excellent.  Her reactions to everything that is happening seem natural and are just right.  Her American accent is good too.

 

Diana Wayland and John Koestler (allmoviephoto.com)

 

The two children are fantastic!  Chandler Canterbury plays John’s son, Caleb, and Lara Robinson plays Abby, Diana’s daughter. 

 

Caleb Koestler (www.aceshowbiz.com)

 

What’s great about this casting of Abby, is that she looks a lot like Rose Byrne.  This means that Lara Robinson and Rose Byrne can play some characters other than their main ones as well e.g. Lara is also Abby’s grandmother, Lucinda Embry, as a child and, in a photograph, Diana as a child.  Rose Byrne is also Lucinda as an adult.  I hope that made sense.  If it didn’t, don’t worry, because it isn’t at all confusing in the movie.

 

Diana and Abby Wayland (www.aceshowbiz.com)

 

As it says in the synopsis, it is directed by Alex Proyas, of I, Robot fame.  It is always good to see Australians working on great films and for Knowing, not only is the director Australian, but so are many of the actors, including Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Nadia Townsend, Alan Hopgood, Adrienne Pickering, Danielle Carter, Alethea McGrath, Doug Lennie, Tamara Donnellan and Travis Waite.  It was also filmed in Australia, and more specifically, Melbourne.

Ben Mendelsohn (Quigley Down Under, The Secret Life of Us, Love my Way, Australia) plays Phil Beckman, John’s colleague and friend.  I don’t really have anything to say about him.  He neither particularly stood out as being good, but also, he was in no way bad.

Nadia Townsend (Sea Patrol, Chandon Pictures) plays Grace Koestler, John’s sister.  I think she did a really good job.  Even though we don’t find out much about this character, she is still interesting.

Alan Hopgood (The Games, Something in the Air, Blue Heelers, City Homicide) plays Rev Koestler, John’s father.  I don’t like the way this character is portayed.  He is just the stereotype of a pastor.  In fact, he reminds me of the priest that was on Passions, except not quite that exaggerated (thank God!).

Danielle Carter (Something in the Air, Blue Heelers, City Homicide, Underbelly, All Saints) plays Miss Taylor in 1959.  I think she is great – really quirky.

Alethea McGrath (Something in the Air, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Blue Heelers, Curtin, City Homicide) plays Miss Taylor in 2009.  There are a few things about this character that don’t quite add up when you consider what had happened in the past, but I won’t go into the details.

David Lennie (Summer Heights High) plays Principal Clark.  This charcter isn’t very important, but I just wanted to point on that David Lennie is the guy who played Doug Petersen, or ‘Paedophile Pete’ in Summer Heights.

 The writing credits include Ryne Douglas Pearson, Juliet Snowden, Stiles White, Stuart Hazeldine, Alex Proyas and Richard Kelly.

It is beautifully shot and it has a great soundtrack.  The music was composed by Marco Beltrami.  There was also one song that John listened to twice in the movie, once near the beginning and once near the end.  I know I’ve heard this song before, but I can’t figure out what it is, so if anyone knows please comment and tell me.

Knowing was financially backed by Summit Entertainment, which was also Twilight’s production company.  This is interesting because, I think, Knowing has a similar look and feel to Twilight, except it had better special FX.

 

In Australia, Knowing’s release date is the 26 March.

If you’re interested, the official website is http://knowing-themovie.com/  It’s pretty and has some good content.

 

Go see Knowing at the cinema; don’t wait for the DVD, because it really is a good movie and I think you’ll be missing out if you just watch it at home on your TV.

That said, don’t watch Knowing if you’re someone who is frightened really easily (unless you want to be frightened), because it is quite scary and horrific.

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~ by vanityandpride on March 24, 2009.

3 Responses to “Knowing”

  1. Thanks for the actor breakdown – I really enjoyed that approach to the review. Chandler Canterbury was excellent, I agree, and many of the actors were good. My problem was not so much that they were underutilised (as I mentioned I liked the restraint) but that the world/philosophy/end of the movie didn’t make me grieve or cheer for them particularly.

    Nadia Townsend was beautiful in her role, and I feel particularly cheated by not getting to care about her.

  2. Thanks, tanaudel.
    I guess I didn’t grive or cheer for them particularly either. I was happy for John, though, because I thought he’d ‘found God’ and because of that, he’d been able to let his son go and accept that the world was coming to an end with grace.
    I agree, Nadia Townsend was beautiful in her role. When you say you felt cheated by not getting to care about her, do you mean you wish she had more screen-time or that you think it should have been written/directed/whatever in some other way? I did care about her a little bit, in that she was a nice, interesting character, but I didn’t feel any great pain because of her death. I feel like it was okay for her (and John and their parents) to die, because they were ready for it; they had faith.

  3. lol

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