David Cronenberg’s acclaimed tale of an all American family living in a small rural town whose idyllic life together is shattered when upstanding member of the community – and local cafe owner – Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) tackles two robbers with an efficiency that hints he may not have always been such a peace-loving citizen.
The break in mundanity brings news crews and tittle-tattle to the small town and it is not long before the ghosts of Tom’s past also come calling, too.
A History of Violence is an excellent film with Cronenberg’s direction mirroring the character of Tom Stall – reserved and measured but capable of exploding into deadly violence in an instant. Josh Olson’s script and a supporting cast of Maria Bello, Ed Harris and William Hurt, as Stall’s estranged, deranged Philly mob boss brother, allows an effective juxtaposition of the boring domesticity of country life and the menace, casual brutality and violence that lurks just beneath the surface in some people.
Film of the day: A History of Violence – Thursday 10.00pm on Sky Cinema Greats.