Ethan Hawke and Robert Budreau must have formed a synchronicity working together in the heart breaking biopic Born to be Blue considering the dynamic duo are back again in Stockholm the movie (Ethan starring of course and Budreau writing and directing).
Being a card carrying Ethan Hawke fan from his pinch his cute cheeks in Dead Poets Society to his twitchy f-up of a brother in Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, to his nightly strangulation in Sam Shepard’s play True West on Broadway, I also thought Stockholm was well executed.
Here’s the deal with Ethan: you know he’s acting and yet you believe it anyway. He’s in that upper echelon of Ed Norton and Sam Rockwell, equally recognizable, yet so lovable and masters of their craft that you go with it, happy for every ride.
In Stockholm, named for the incident that describes the phenomena of a hostage falling for her (or his) captor, Hawke is the predator and Noomi Rapace is prey. Noomi is probably best know for the foreign version of the Dragon Tattoo movies and may be set for super stardom with an upcoming Maria Callas biopic. Also standing out are Mark Strong as Ethan’s robber com padre accomplice and Christopher Heyerdahl as the chief of police who lets ‘winning’ corrupt his humanity.
The second best part of Stockholm besides Ethan and Noomi’s hot chemistry, was the humorous touches in the script. Noomi’s disappointment while being held hostage that her husband chose to serve meatloaf instead of the more creative fish dish, Ethan’s character’s insistence to have Dylan music as a back drop to the robbery, and many other subtle nuances prove that Budreau likes a sprinkle of comedy with the absurdity of our lives.
And the very best part of Stockholm is Hawke’s throwing himself into every role, similar to the Aha band’s video of “Take on Me”, where the animated character hits the wall until he becomes human. Hawke does that to writing (the wall) until we believe his human (acting) form.
This comedic spice alone might be worth inserting in every movie hereafter, since, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, where are we going?