Friday, April 30, 2021

The Virtuoso Review: A Stylish Noir Cloak-and-Dagger

Anthony Hopkins	Anthony Hopkins	...	The Mentor Abbie Cornish	Abbie Cornish	...	The Waitress Diora Baird	Diora Baird	...	Johnnie's Girl Anson Mount	Anson Mount	...	The Virtuoso Eddie Marsan	Eddie Marsan	...	The Loner David Morse	David Morse	...	The Deputy Richard Brake	Richard Brake	...	Handsome Johnnie Chris Perfetti	Chris Perfetti	...	The Motel Clerk Lory Molino	Lory Molino	...	Background Shay Guthrie	Shay Guthrie	...	Camaro Girl Estelle Girard Parks	Estelle Girard Parks	...	Young Woman Jenna Hellmuth	Jenna Hellmuth	...	The Mom Basil Kershner	Basil Kershner	...	Pedestrian Ryan Jonze	Ryan Jonze	...	Camaro Punk Blaise Corrigan	Blaise Corrigan	...	Dude / Victim

Release date: April 30, 2021
Running time: 110 minutes
Directed By: Nick Stagliano
Written By: 
James C. Wolf
Starring: Anson Mount, Abbie Cornish, Eddie MarsanDiora BairdRichard Brake, with David Morse and Anthony Hopkins

Danger, deception, and murder descend upon a sleepy country town when a professional assassin (Anson Mount) accepts a new assignment from his enigmatic mentor and boss (Oscar® winner Anthony Hopkins). Given only where and when along with a cryptic clue, the methodical hit man must identify his mysterious mark from among several possible targets, including a local sheriff (David Morse). Meanwhile, a chance encounter with an alluring woman (Abbie Cornish) at the town’s rustic diner threatens to derail his mission in this noir-style cloak-and-dagger thriller.

Produced by  Chris Bongirne	...	executive producer Jennifer W. Conklin	...	co-executive producer Fred Fuchs	...	executive producer Andrew Hobson	...	associate producer Thomas P. Murphy Jr.	...	co-executive producer Stanley Preschutti	...	executive producer Jack Sojka	...	line producer Nick Stagliano	...	producerMusic by  Brooke Blair	 Will Blair	Cinematography by  Dejan Georgevich	...	segment cinematographer Frank Prinzi	...	director of photography
The Virtuoso wears its noir inspiration on its sleeve, with a mysterious main character who often seems to be plotting his next move, and a mysterious game of cat and mouse that will keep you guessing what will happen next.  The film starts with an explosive opening that shows how cold the main character can be, but also how good he is at his job.  His character is intriguing and I love the way that he narrates everything that happens, letting you get in his head.  And Abbie Cornish is another fun character who plays the Waitress perfectly.  She doesn't have a lot of time but quickly establishes a rapport with Mount.  Although the main draw of this film is Anthony Hopkins, his character just doesn't have much of a role in the film.  He is the mentor but we don't get to see much of him, probably because of the indie budget in this movie.  

But the main conflict in the film, as can often be the case in films where someone questions their previous choices, feels manufactured.  Not the cat and mouse game that occurs, but the event that leads to that game just doesn't have the emotional impact that I think it should have.  It is also tough to believe given the actions of the Virtuoso during the film.  I am not sure what could have been done to make it more realistic, but the triggering event could have fit in better with the story I think.  And the film does have some strange, unrealistic sound effects at times, but this might have just been the screener I was watching.  That being said, the story of the film is compact but has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.  As with any good cloak-and-dagger, you are left in the dark until the very end with a nice ending that ties everything together.  

The Virtuoso is a stylish noir film with great style, an interesting story that will keep you guessing, and entertaining leads.  

Rent it.

Directed by  Nick Stagliano	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   James C. Wolf
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The Virtuoso in select theaters and everywhere you rent movies on April 30th; on Blu-ray and DVD May 4th. For theatrical showtimes, click here

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