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'The Grey' has everything that defines good filmmaking Jeri Jacquin | Fri, Feb 03 2012 04:56 PM

Now playing in theaters from director Joe Carnahan and Open Road Films comes a film that has audiences reeling from “The Grey.”

This film tells the story of John Ottway (Liam Neeson), a man filled with deep emotion about the loss of his marriage. In the bitter cold of Alaska, an oil drilling company has hired him to watch the men as they work. What he is looking for is wolves to keep them from attacking the men.

On a trip home, the plane full of men crashes into the middle of nowhere in an ice storm.

Ottway quickly realizes it is not just the elements that he must come to terms with but the wolves that are stalking the survivors. Knowing they can not stay with the wreckage, they band together to try to find a way out.

With every step they take, each man must come to terms with his life, the elements and survival.

Final word

Neeson is absolutely and totally believable as Ottway. There is a depth to this actor that makes his characters amazing to watch. His body of work shows not only is he versatile, but willing to take risks. Here, Ottway is quiet until he isn’t, talks when he needs to and is accepting when things don’t go according to plan. There is something very calming in his voice with the narration as well.

Frank Grillo as Diaz is the absolute bad boy. He is arrogant with a little man complex, especially standing next to Neeson.

This is a film about man versus nature and is filled with moments of humor, raw emotion and an invitation inside the lives of the survivors.

Tubs of popcorn
I give “The Grey” four and a half tubs of popcorn. There is so much about this film that I liked I could write a small book. For over a year now one of my major complaints has been the detachment of characters in film. The cut-away shots in scenes that don’t allow viewers a chance to really feel and care for characters. This film absolutely does that.

It is magnificently filmed (by Masanobu Takayanagi), the story is brilliant, the cast not only worked their characters but worked them extremely well. There actually are moments were the anticipation and angst rubs off on the audience — and it is very welcome. Director Joe Carnahan has given audiences something that’s been missing in a film for quiet some time – everything!

There are some scenes of violence involving the wolves, so be aware of scenes that might bother younger children.

Performing arts calendar

Christian Youth Theater’s production of “Cinderella” will stun audiences with its grand-style staging and colorful characters. The production is ongoing at the Mater Dei Catholic High School theater. Call 588-0206.

Show days           
Friday, Feb. 3: 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 4: 2 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 5: 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 10: 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11: 2 and 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 12: 2 p.m.

OnStage Playhouse

OnStage Playhouse’s current production of  ‘The Elephant Man’ continues through Feb. 4. Call 422-7787 or visit www.onstageplayhouse.com for details.

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