First event film of the year 2023 on Netflix, The Pale Blue Eye is a black thriller worn by Christian Bale and Harry Melling. Is this adaptation of the novel of the same name mixing sordid investigation and Edgar Allan Poe worth a look?
What is it about ?
A retired commissioner recruits a brilliant West Point cadet named Edgar Allan Poe to help him solve a gruesome murder at the United States Military Academy.
Who is it with?
For this first event film of the year 2023 on Netflix, an exceptional cast has been assembled. Starting with its main duo: Christian Bale, who needs no introduction, and Harry Melling, who has flourished in auteur films since his incarnation as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter saga.
In the rest of the cast of The Pale Blue Eye, we find in particular Gillian Anderson, who has recently sparked in The Great, The Crown or The First Lady, Robert Duvall, known for his roles in the films of Francis Ford Coppola, Lucy Boynton (Sing Street, Bohemian Rhapsody), Toby Jones (Hunger Games, Jurassic World), Harry Lawtey (Industry) and the French Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Well worth a look ?
After The Blazes of Wrath and Hostiles, director Scott Cooper is once again teaming up with Christian Bale for his new film. In this adaptation of the novel of the same name by Louis Bayard, the British-American actor delivers a new performance in the costume of Inspector Augustus Landor, a widowed, alcoholic and tortured veteran assigned to investigate a sordid case in 1830 .
To elucidate a series of murders at the West Point Military Academy, the policeman will be helped in his task by a young and brilliant cadet from this institution in decline, who is none other than the future famous writer Edgar Allan Poe, embodied by an impressive Harry Melling.
The puzzling investigation will help to lift the veil on dark secrets and kick in the anthill that is the Academy, governed by a very powerful military code of silence. It is moreover this slow and meticulous investigation, punctuated by solid dialogues, which makes all the attraction of this well-crafted and gripping thriller.
By mixing a macabre plot, ogling between mysticism and blood, with a historical backdrop (Edgar Allan Poe actually went through this academy), Scott Cooper plays with the codes and mixes up several genres to blur the tracks until to surprising revelations.
If the narrative construction is solid in the first part of the film in costumes, it trips a bit in the carpet in the second half of the feature film with twists that are too fast and incoherent.
Despite an incredible story and a classic staging, Scott Cooper manages to install an austere, disturbing and almost naturalistic atmosphere, as he knows how to do so well. Add to that the impeccable performances of a prestigious cast and we appreciate the moment spent in front of this imperfect but effective noir thriller.
The movie The Pale Blue Eye is available on Netflix.