Author(s): Bryce M.
"Field of Desire"
Directed by: Marc Forster
Written by: Tom Stoppard and Menno Meyjes
Produced by: Frank Marshall, Paul Webster, and Eric Fellner
Cinematography by: Roger Deakins
Film Editing: Dylan Tichenor and Michael Kahn
Viggo Mortensen as Monty Charles
Kerry Washington as Mardea
Elizabeth Reaser as Jessica Charles
Timothy Olyphant as Robert Charles
Tagline: "When power meets love, chaos is the result"
Synopsis: In the early 1700s there was no one more powerful than Monty Charles. Along with his brother Robert Charles, he has become the wealthiest man in Kentucky. As Monty looks upon his plantation with his wife Jessica Charles, and thinks about all the success that has come his way, he can't help but feel that something in his life is missing.
Unlike Robert, Monty has never been the type of person to treat his slaves badly, although he doesn't care for them either. But that all changes when his eyes are set on Mardea, one of his field slaves. As Monty gazes into Mardea's eyes, his heart realizes he has never seen a more beautiful woman.
Monty slowly becomes obsess with Mardea, eventually treating her better than his own wife. However, much sadness is in Mardea, and trying to achieve a compassionate relationship with Mardea is proving to be difficult for Monty. Regardless, the two eventually fall in love, and makes sure to keep their relationship hidden from the town.
Meanwhile, rumors start to spread throughout the town hinting that someone is in an affair with a slave. Robert begins a town search party that will find and punish the "slave lover" and the slave.
As Monty and Mardea's relationship grows, Jessica becomes more and more suspicious of an affair, and the town becomes more and more close to finding the "slave lover". Monty will have to choose between his two loves; his wealth or his love of his life Mardea, before both are lost.
What the Press would say:
Field of Desire will easily be labeled as not only the year's most engaging film, but also the year's most controversial. The subject of the film deals with interracial relationship, slavery, rape, and adultery, all subjects that have a history of being shied away from in the movie industry, and in society. Marc Forster takes on the directing chair of this controversial piece, and this is truly his best work to date. Forster's vision of the film is one that you usually don't expect for a film set in it's era. Usually films set in the slavery era tends to be much more tense and gritty. Forster brings a sort of low brow epic sense to the film, combined with a loose dark tone in some scenes. The concluding result is a film that is very beautiful to watch.
Where the movie really shines is it's performances. Viggo Mortensen glows as the confused and lonely Monty Charles.Monty is a man torn apart from his two loves, and his confusion becomes the ultimate reason for his inner destruction. Although Mortensen's performance is pitch perfect, the real show stealer here is Kerry Washington, with a career defining performance. As Mardea, Washington doesn't have much dialogue. Instead, she uses a lot of eye movement and body language to not only reach to Mortensen's character but also make audiences understand her character more. With much pain, and much resilience, Washington is able to outshine Mortensen.
The supporting performances offer just as much of a delight as the leading ones. Elizabeth Reaser suspicious wife character adds a new layer to the story, and offers a different kind of emotion to the main story's emotion that could have audiences relating to her character a lot more than Mortensen's character. While Reaser's character could be called the antagonist of the story, Timothy Olyphant's is just down right evil. His character leads the town in a hunt for the resident who is having a relationship with their slave, which leads to Olyphant performing many horrible acts against the slaves, including rape, murder, and mutilation. Olyphant's performance is haunting, daring, and sure to launch his career into new heights.
There is no other movie out there that is like Field of Desire. It is gripping, and once you are hooked in, it never lets you go. The drama is tense, and the scenery is beautiful, with many Oscar caliber performances. Expect it to do good come award season, but for now I highly recommend everyone to go see Field of Desire in a theater near you.
Best Director- Marc Forster
Best Actor- Viggo Mortensen
Best Actress- Kerry Washington
Best Supporting Actor- Timothy Olyphant
Best Supporting Actress- Elizabeth Reaser
Best Original Screenplay- Tom Stoppard and Menno Meyjes
Best Film Editing
Best Art Direction