For a movie fan, there’s nothing better than seeing a favorite director hit a cinematic home run. Making movies is a hard endeavor for sure and not every outing is gonna be a career best but die hard movie geeks hold out hope that genius preciously planted will hopefully once again bear film fruit. That’s what makes the chilling and thrilling drama “Remember” such a sweet and utterly satisfying piece of cinema. A five-star return to form for Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan, “Remember” manages to exude both the spirit and style that made the fine filmmaker so beloved in the first place, all the while telling a suspenseful story that grips until the last frame – great cinema all around.
Zev Gutman is a man with memory issues. As an elderly gent now living in an old-age home, every time Zev doses off he forgets. Forgets where he is, what he ate and even the fact that his wife of many years has long passed away. But with the help of his friend Max Rosenbaum, Zev rediscovers life’s events everyday including that fact that that he’s made a secret deal with Max. Seems a Nazi guard responsible for the deaths of their Jewish families at Auschwitz is living in America under a different name and Zev has agreed to hunt him down. So with the help of a hand written note explaining all the details and an unwavering determination, Zev sets out on an unforgettable trip to get some justice.
Even the above gives away too many details, but not to worry, as there are plenty of tasty twists and turns that make “Remember” remarkable. Lacing the sinful story of old school revenge with tension, intrigue, dark drama and even a few moments of passionate reflective pause he does so well, Egoyan is certainly in his wheelhouse here and “Remember” is so much better because of it. Of course the leading man is always a good barometer of the brilliant within and as the frail yet determined Zev, Christopher Plummer is off the charts amazing. Some of the best work of his career (and yes there’s a lot of great ones already!), Plummer manages to convey the confusion and sadness of his condition (used here not as a gimmick – more just a smart story device!) with little to no dialogue – a feat for an actor of any age. And matched with the thoughtful work by partner in crime Martin Landau and even a little Jürgen Prochnow action added (all hail the Prochnow!), “Remember” boasts nuanced work across the board that compliments Egoyan’s signature style.
I’ve heard rumblings that seeing as the leads here are older that “Remember” is a film more for the elder art house crowd – nothing could be farther from the truth. Completely captivating with a timeless Hitchcockian feel, Remember a film that equally astounds and kneecaps thanks to the serious cinematic skills of a master at the helm and fortunately engrossing is Egoyan’s specialty.
“REMEMBER” OPENS IN THEATERS ON MARCH 4 FROM A24 FILMS.
Cast: Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Dean Norris
Director: Atom Egoyan
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Company: A24 Films