Awards season is gearing up with the BAFTAs taking place on 12th of February, the Academy Awards on February the 26th and more besides. All you voters out there will be working your way through screeners and assorted for your consideration material, so I thought I’d take a moment to pop up a reminder of Duncan Jones second feature Source Code.
Released in April 2011, Source Code is Director Duncan Jones second feature starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright…
When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the Source Code, a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.
Filled with mind-boggling twists and heart-pounding suspense, Source Code is a smart action-thriller directed by Duncan Jones (Moon) also starring Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Due Date), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed), and Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace, Syriana)
Met with great critical acclaim and proving itself a hit at the World Wide box office also (being one of only 20 international films to receive a theatrical release in China in 2011) Source Code has gone on to feature in many end of 2011 best of lists.
Just in case you haven’t been able to see Source Code, here’s the first 5 minutes to wet your appetite.
Best Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal. A fantastic performance from Jake, clearly maturing into a fine lead actor. Perfectly conveying the initial confusion of Colter Stevens unusual situation, then moving through a range of emotions as Colter takes on his assigned mission and engages with the passengers on the doomed train to Chicago, and the team back at base determined to ensure he obtains information vital to prevent a second, larger attack.
Best Actress: Michelle Monaghan. Charming performance from Michelle as Christina Warren, making the subtle changes to each run of the code with Colter that enable a believable relationship to build between the two lead characters.
Best Support: Vera Farmiga. Possibly the toughest role to play in Source Code, Vera’s Colleen Goodwin starts out initially as Colter Stevens handler within the Source Code. Obtaining information from Colter on each run, pressuring Colter to obtain more each time. But as a relationship builds between Colter & Goodwin, the full emotional impact of both of their situations hits home. Given that Vera played this role to camera, with virtually no real interaction with Jake, yet still managed to convey the subtle emotional changes needed was an amazing achievement.
Best Editing: Paul Hirsch. A film making legend, and one of the members of the production that Duncan was extremely excited to have been working with. Paul’s editing give Source Code the necessary pace needed to ensure the audience experience the tension of Colter’s situation, and to have that tension racked up after each run of the Source Code as the potential for a far greater attacks gets closer.
Best Score: Chris Bacon. Wonderfully evocative of 60’s & 70’s thrillers, I couldn’t put it better than our review of the score from Dan Watts.
If you’ve not seen Source Code already, I hope this may have got you interested in getting hold of a copy, and maybe even voting for it in whatever awards you may participate in. It may be that films like Source Code that are able to stimulate an audience emotionally as well as intellectually may be getting rarer, but Source Code proved this year that, like Inception the year before, audiences enjoy leaving the cinema with something to think about and discuss after. Any extra attention we can give to this kind of film making can only be a plus as far as I’m concerned. Both for the audience, and the industry itself.
Thanks for reading through if you got this far, I’ll leave you with the Source Code trailer, and as Father Ted’s Mrs. Doyle might say “Gewan, gewan, gewan..” 😉