Friday, March 20, 2009

Nicolas Cage as an all-'Knowing' MIT professor?

In the apocalyptic sci-fi thriller "Knowing" hitting theaters Friday, March 20, Nicolas Cage plays a Hub-based MIT professor who digs up a time capsule that can predict the future at his son's Bay State elementary school.

But how convincing is his portrayal of a boozing astrophysicist working in Cambridge and living in Lexington? Based on a slew of reports, it's up for debate.

"It's hard ... to believe that a Boston astrophysicist would drive a globe-warming Ford F-150," comments the Star Tribune.

Dr. Edward Farhi, an actual MIT-based physicist, says Cage's performance is somewhat realistic.

"Well, I don't usually throw rubber balls at my class. That's maybe a technique I should try. We don't usually toss things ... I thought the questions [Cage] brought up about randomness, chaos and determinism were interesting. We do think about things like that," Farhi says here.

Variety sums it up, "Although he may not fit the received image of an MIT prof, Cage, slimmed down to the edge of gauntness, generally suppresses his more wildly emotive tendencies to deliver an acceptably thoughtful performance."

While the majority of Cage's movie was shot in Australia, crews were filming exterior scenes in Boston last September because the movie is set in Mass. and some things you simply can't fake ... like the MIT campus and the Charles River. The film is directed by Aussie Alex "I, Robot" Proyas, which would explain the Melbourne filming locations.

Even co-star Rose Byrne, an Aussie actress, admits it was hard to get into character because of the location. "I just shot a movie in Melbourne but I had to do an American accent because it is set in Boston. That was a bit weird," Byrne spills to Women's Wear Daily.

Wouldn't it make sense to actually shoot a film that's set in Boston in, well, Boston?
--Photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment

1 comment:

shipguy59 said...

Here's my thing. I really don't care for Nicolas Cage. I loved him in Raising Arizona but not much since then. He seems to just play the same guy all the time.

This movie looks really interesting but I'm pessimistic about it simply because of what Cage has done to other movies.

He's starred in remakes of two favorites of mine - Wicker Man and City of Angles AKA Wings of Desire. In both cases he took wonderful, rich, nuanced stories and dumbed them down to the cinematic equivalent of sugar babies.

Maybe he's had the bad luck of signing on to bad projects with bad writers etc...

...but, I expect this MIT professor to be a lot like a Hollywood writer drinking himself to death while hunting for national treasure (twice), saving San Francisco from terrorists and stealing a great number of cars in a very short period of time.

Just Nick being Nick.

Someday it'll be on free on-demand.

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