A wealthy businessman murders his unfaithful wife. The case winds up in the hands of an overconfident prosecutor who unexpectedly finds himself playing a deadly game of manipulation and deception. Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins and Oscar-nominee Ryan Gosling co-star in this new psychological thriller and Alan Silverman has a look at Fracture.
Police arrive at the mansion of eccentric millionaire Ted Crawford and discover him gun in hand, his beautiful young wife dead in the polished marble hallway. The evidence seems clear, his confession is total and, to deputy district attorney Willy Meachum, it looks like another easy victory in court.
However, Meachum soon discovers it is a serious mistake to underestimate an adversary ...especially one as cagey as Crawford.
The deeper into the case he goes, the more Meachum realizes the admitted murderer has woven an intricate plot to outsmart the justice system.
Anthony Hopkins is no stranger to portraying the diabolical murderer on screen, notably serial killer Hannibal Lechter in The Silence of the Lambs and two subsequent films; but the Welsh-born actor says his Fracture character is different.
"I know it's another villain like Hannibal Lechter. It is not the same, but it is cold-blooded, he's clever and he's smart ...and it's the structure of the script that I responded to," he says.
"He is a bit wacko. He is a little weird to shoot his wife because she is having an affair," explains Hopkins. "He could have divorced her, but to kill her is a bit strange. I think he does it as a peculiar mental exercise to see if he can perform the perfect crime. I suppose there people around who have done things like that. A case in point: Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment' (with) the motiveless murder or Shakespeare's Iago who just malignantly destroys peoples lives and at the ends says 'just because I can, I choose to.' I think this is what Crawford is. He's made of the same material. He's very smart, but it's the smartness and intelligence of somebody who is really quite disturbed."
Ryan Gosling co-stars as prosecutor Willy Meachum.
"I wanted to do the movie was because it is so outside anything that I have experienced before: so plot-driven and full of so many twists and turns," he says. "It's so different from the other films that I've done, but it was easy for me because basically my character just had to be confused the whole time anyway, so I just went with that. I tried to wrap my head around it and I couldn't."
At just 26-years-old and fresh from an Oscar nomination for last year's Half Nelson, the Canadian-born actor calls sparring on-screen with Hopkins 'a dream come true.'
"At this point in my life and career it was a huge opportunity for me to work with Anthony Hopkins. He is a hero of mine. He is a master and I think to get to watch a master at work in any craft is important," says Gosling. "The difficult part of making this movie for me was trying not to enjoy him too much because I'm a fan ...and I'm in a scene with Anthony Hopkins, he is being great, doing great things ...and I just want to laugh and enjoy it and look around to see what everybody else is thinking, but meanwhile I have to be in the scene. So I'm trying to remind myself that I don't like this guy, I'm not enjoying this, I'd rather be somewhere else ...but there is nowhere else I'd rather be. So I used up all my acting in that."
Fracture is directed by Gregory Hoblit, whose TV shows like L.A. Law and NYPD Blue along with films including Primal Fear and Hart's War put him at home in the courtroom drama genre.
"This is an entertaining movie. I don't regard this as being an important movie," he says. "I think it's a really smart, 'brain-teaser' popcorn movie. Like reading a really good, smart book on vacation somewhere, it requires not taking itself all that seriously."
Fracture is written by Daniel Pyne and Glenn Gers. The cast features Rosamund Pike, David Strathairn and Embeth Davidtz; and the film was shot on location in Los Angeles.