...and the trouble she discovers.
As a 2010 drama the film Stone stars Robert De Niro as Jack Mabry, Edward Norton as Gerald “Stone” Creeson, Milla Jovovich as Lucetta Creeson, and Frances Conroy as Madylyn Mabry. Jack is a soon retiring parole officer who interviews and determines which inmates are suitable for early release. With only a few months to go Jack requests that he continues his work with his current list of inmates to see them through until the end which includes convicted arsonist Stone.
Stone has served 8 out of his 15 year sentence for being an accessory to the murder of his grandparents after which he set their house ablaze. As Jack begins the routine question and answering process he discovers quickly that Stone is reluctant to relive that night. Instead Stone chooses to discuss his beautiful wife, Lucetta, who he describes as an over sexed alien from another planet. Soon Jack begins to receive phone calls at his house and visits from Lucetta asking him for a meeting in which they can discuss her husband. While Jack explains on multiple occasions that his word alone wouldn’t be enough to grant Stone an early release Lucetta continues to pursue Jack until he falls victim to her seduction. Now Jack has a secret to keep and his behavior both at home and in office becomes erratic.
The characters in this film all go through their own unique metamorphoses however the movie hardly capitalizes on the changes. Stone experiences what I believe was a legitimate spiritual awakening however it does nothing to change his lack of remorse towards lighting his grandparents on fire. Nor does it impact the vague plan he has set with his wife to talk Jack into submitting positive parole paperwork. The only change is that he decides he doesn’t mind being in prison as much as he did before by making peace with his place in life. Jack begins to lose his grip on what is morally right and wrong and continues to seek out Lucetta’s attention. Lucetta herself is mentioned to have strong sexual impulses and is even shown being intimate with an unnamed male character but the film never delves deeper than the needed plot device. Then there is Madylyn, Jack’s quiet wife who attempted to leave him 30 years prior. She is obviously very religious but is never involved with the main story line until her own house is burning to the ground. Without any explanation as to what actually occurred she decides she shall lie to the firemen, telling them it was obviously faulty wiring or wet rags, and leaves Jack that very night.
That’s the movie, folks. There is really no ending. Jack, drinking himself into a confrontation, seeks out Stone again but does nothing to him. Stone neither denies or accepts blame for the second burning. Lucetta is out of the picture after taking Stone back into her home and Madylyn divorces Jack then ends the movie with her contemplating their life together. She wasn’t a viable part of the movie so to end on her is a bit weird.
The performances in this movie ranges from great to acceptable. De Niro is always a king with whatever role he’s given. Jovovich does well with the material that she had to work with. Norton was convincing once you forgive the odd accent that he donned for this film. I liked the feel of this flick as well as the subject matter. I just feel as though the potential it possessed was squandered. On the bright side; should you find Milla attractive you have the ability to see her topless about a quarter of the way into the film. Otherwise this movie is a pass.
2 out of 5 stars.