Shutter Island—Movie

Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Laeta Kalogridis, based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, was not at all what I expected…it was much more. Part melodrama, part psychological thriller, Shutter Island held my interest from beginning to end and really gave me a lot to mull over, long after the film’s conclusion.

Set in 1954,the film stars Leonard DiCaprio as U.S. Marshall Teddy Andrews, who comes to Shutter Island (which is somewhere off the coast of Massachusetts and accessible only by ferry) to investigate the disappearance  of a patient from the Island’s institution for the criminally insane.  Mark Ruffalo is his partner, Chuck, and Ben Kingsley is Dr. Cawley, head of the institution.

DiCaprio, called upon to convey a wide range of emotions, is great. But leads aside, the secondary cast is absolutely fantastic, with some of the best character actors in the business. Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Max Von Sydow and Michelle Williams, just to name a few, have all been nominated and honored with a variety of acting awards, and these folk have “come to play.”

In keeping with the 50’s mode, a lot of the movie is set in black and white and the music, an ensemble of previously recorded material selected by Robbie Robertson, complements the movie’s tone perfectly.

The trailers for Shutter Island do not do it justice. This is not some creepy horror show, full of cheap thrills. It is a complex mind-bender with a master, Scorsese, at the top of his game.

3 ½ nuggets out of 4

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