|Dr. Banks (Law) and Emily (Mara) address her depression.|
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Produced by Scott Z. Burns, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, and Gregory Jacobs
Written by Scott Z. Burns
Starring Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Vinessa Shaw, and Ann Dowd
Taking medication can do wonders, but it can also create problems. In this case, complications start when Emily Taylor (Mara) brings her husband Martin (Tatum) home from prison and finds her depression unbearable. This introduces us to Dr. Jonathan Banks (Law), who becomes her new psychiatrist. As their appointments progress, he decides to prescribe a new medication called Ablixa. Emily gets better, but not without some strange side effects. Her actions become impaired by the medication, resulting in severe court proceedings against her. But Dr. Banks is dragged into the mess as well, and he must get to the bottom of this odd case. With his career and the life of his patient on the line, he struggles to find the truth, dredging up the past and discovering a huge secret in the process. (Note: There's a lot I left out, for the sake of not spoiling the film.)
If this is Soderbergh's last film, it's an intriguing one with which to close. While it's cold (much like Contagion), it's also very entertaining and features superb, nuanced work from its cast. Soderbergh continues to get the best out of Channing Tatum; and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vinessa Shaw, and Ann Dowd deliver effective supporting performances. However, full praise must go to Jude Law, who gives his best performance in years, and Rooney Mara, who erases any doubt that she is a force to be reckoned with. The craft work of the film is equally good. Thomas Newman's score is a major contribution (more than his Skyfall work), and the editing keeps things moving at a nice pace. While some of the lighting techniques feel recycled from better Soderbergh efforts, his style does work to the film's advantage on the whole. This isn't the best entry in the director's catalog, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to watching it again.
Oscar Potential: Best Original Score