Stay


Directed by: Marc Foster
Written by:David Benioff
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling, Naomi Watts,  Bob Hoskins, Janeane Garofalo
Released: November 3, 2005
Grade: A-

Most movies you simply watch.  Rare movies though, require you both think and watch.  Within five minutes I new that Stay fell into the later category.  Like Mulholland Drive, Donnie Darko or The Sixth Sense, you’ll be taken into a mysterious world that doesn’t make much sense.  The challenge is then presented – can you predict how it will end?

It begins with psychiatrist Sam Foster (McGregor) taking over from of a colleague who has gone on leave.  One of his new patients is Henry Letham (Gosling), a young man on the eve of his 21st birthday.  Henry has been hearing voices and wants to kill himself.  It’s a case that Sam can’t seem to distance himself from – he wants to know more about Henry and will do whatever he can to prevent his death.

The key to any great mystery is the storyline and whether the ending supports that which precedes it.  I was guessing constantly throughout and now have seen how the film ends, I can endorse the entire 99 minutes.  It is for this reason that I won’t reveal any more about the plot.  Preconceptions will only ruin the experience.

Stay has a visual style which blew me away.  The film keeps slipping from location to location with a crafty camera technique that you have to see to appreciate.  It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before and is the culmination of work by the visual effects artists, the cinematographer, the film editor, the writer and the director.  It’ll blow your mind and only increase the mystery of Sam Foster and Henry Letham.

I’ve spoken to a few other people regarding the film’s interpretation and the significance of several scenes and characters.  Most agree on the overall premise but I think it would take several viewings to pick up most the meaningful references left by writer David Benioff (Troy, 25th Hour) and director Marc Foster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland).  I can’t wait to see it again!