Wicker Park (2004)

Genre(s): Drama / Mystery / Romance
MGM || PG13 - 115 minutes - $19.99 || December 28, 2004
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2005-01-14


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Paul McGuigan
Writer(s): Gilles Mimouni ("L'Appartemen" Screenplay), Brandon Boyce (screenplay)
Cast: Josh Hartnett, Rose Byrne, Matthew Lillard, Diane Kruger


Theatrical Release Date: September 3, 2004


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Director & Actor Commentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Music Video
  • Photo Gallery
  • Soundtrack Spot
  • Trailers


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

IMAGE

Wicker Park is the story about insecure businessman Matthew who, while having lunch with clients and his fiancee, believes he saw the love of his life, Lisa, who walked out on him two years ago. With his job on the line, he decides to forgo his trip to China in order to track her down. Once he finally thinks he has found her, he instead meets a woman whose name is Lisa, but looks nothing like her. Is Matthew nuts or did he really see the Lisa whom he fell in love with years earlier?

This dramatic-thriler was surprisingly good and quite effective on a deeper level -- that being the chemistry between him and both Lisa's (played by Rose Byrne and Diane Kruger). At first, I wasn't too thrilled with director Paul McGuigan's split screen style and after a bit, it seemed to emulate that of Jonathan Demme (whose direction I'm not wild about). However, as the story and mystery unfolds (the film goes back and forth in time), I became enthralled with these characters and actually cared about the outcome. Although Hartnett isn't exactly a great actor (in my book, at least), he turns in a good and believable performance. Too bad Wicker Park had a short box office life and will likely have a quiet death on DVD. If you see this on the shelf, pick it up... check it out, you may be just as surprised. Also on the plus side, Wicker Park features a unique soundtrack and score (by Cliff Martinez).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

The commentary by director Paul McGuigan and Josh Hartnett although interesting, comes across more awkward than anything else. The conversation between the two was more serious, although McGuigan did ask who Hartnett's first kiss was (he couldn't remember). They also chatted about the usual stuff like why Josh took the role (non-linear storyline), what was the first shot, etc. Nothing overtly fascinating, but certainly not the worse commentary I've listended to.

Deleted Scenes: There are 11 deleted/extended scenes, many of which probably were cut because of pacing issues. However, there is one called "The Stairwell" that I am glad was removed. The scene involves Matthew continuing to stalk Lisa, even to her apartment, and staring at her. This is down right creepy and went far beyond what he did in the movie (plus it wouldn't make sense why Lisa would start going out with him after the incident). The other stuff isn't great and wouldn't have added much to the movie.

Gag Reel: Not all that funny really aside from the occassional flubbed lines or countless takes of actress Rose Byrnes trying to take a drink out of a bottle. I normally enjoy the gag reel, but in the one's with Hartnett, he didn't seemed to be amused which makes it less enjoyable (that may be his personality).

Music Video: This a take on the Phil Collins song, "Against All Odds", with a bit of an independent spin on it. The tune itself matches the score and soundtrack from the movie, which was unique and interesting to listen to. If you liked the music in the film, I would suggest grabbing the soundtrack.

Other features include a photo gallery, soundtrack spot (watch this to get an idea if you would like the CD) and trailers for Wicker Park and other MGM movies.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

IMAGE

The picture is solid as director's interesting pallette of colors and his split screen directing style looks very good. The typical Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound is decent enough with the soundtrack coming across all the speakers well and the voices going through the center speaker. I didn't notice much conversation through the others, but maybe there wasn't any to begin with.



.::OVERALL::.

Wicker Park is a surprisingly good movie that -- I've read -- many felt was too confusing as it went from present to past to further in the past to the present again. I personally wasn't confused and after getting used to the camera work, really enjoyed the love triangle of Matthew, Lisa and... Lisa. Again, you see this on the rental shelf, check it out, you may also be surprised (or maybe confused).