Atom Egoyan makes challenging films, but even by his standards, his 2014 output is going to be tough to watch. While his courtroom drama Devil’s Knot gets a US release on May 9 – a film about the trial of three teenagers accused of killing three young children in a satanic ritual – his follow-up will be screening in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and is currently called Captives - though that may change for release in different territories.
Starring Ryan Reynolds, as a father whose young daughter mysteriously disappears, Captives seems to be a film that gradually unfurls – transforming into something increasingly sinister and disturbing, as layers of grimness are deliberately peeled back. It would appear that Egoyan – along with co-writer David Fraser – has created something that relentlessly preys on the worst fears of the audience, including bad things happening to our children, loss, uncertainty, powerlessness, and that horrifying discomfort of intrusion.
Reynolds – who lets us know from the beginning that this is a serious business, by employing his ‘dramatic role’ beard – is supported in the film by Scott Speedman (The Vow), Rosario Dawson (Trance) and Mireille Enos (The Killing, and also Devil’s Knot). What is clear from the trailer is that this film will be anything but predictable, and it will give Ryan Reynolds a long overdue opportunity to remind us of his capabilities as an actor. Not since the devastating Buried back in 2010 has he been given the room to flex his dramatic muscle to full effect.
There is a great deal of anticipation surrounding Captives, and now we have the first trailer, it is easy to see why. But, Cannes always presents stiff competition from all over the world, so it remains to be seen whether Egoyan will be striding to the podium when the festival – which runs from 14 – 25 May – draws to a close.
Beyond Cannes, Captives has a release date of August 21 for Denmark. Check out the trailer below.