×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Like Minds

"Like Minds" is an intriguing whodunit centered on two privileged British schoolboys with an unhealthy interest in the Knights Templar. Frosh writer-helmer Gregory J. Read delivers a creepy puzzler that largely succeeds in keeping auds guessing to fade-out. Down Under release Nov. 9 should serve as an encouraging tryout before its U.K. and U.S. rollout in early 2007.

With:
Alex Forbes - Eddie Redmayne Nigel Colby - Tom Sturridge Sally Rowe - Toni Collette Insp. McKenzie - Richard Roxburgh Headmaster - Patrick Malahide Susan Mueller - Kate Maberly Josh - Jonathan Overton Raj - Amit Shah John Colby - David Threlfall Helen Colby - Cathryn Bradshaw Rev. Donaldson - Hugh Sachs

Armed with more imagination than most thrillers with teen protags, Oz-U.K. co-prod “Like Minds” is an intriguing whodunit centered on two privileged British schoolboys with an unhealthy interest in the Knights Templar. Confidently controlling the fanciful central elements and a wrap-around investigation of grisly deeds attributed to the pair, frosh writer-helmer Gregory J. Read delivers a creepy puzzler that largely succeeds in keeping auds guessing to fade-out. Assisted by the casting of local drawing card Toni Collette, Down Under release Nov. 9 should serve as an encouraging tryout before its U.K. and U.S. rollout in early 2007.

Nerve center of the elliptical tale is a police interrogation room where 17-year-old Alex Forbes (Eddie Redmayne), has been charged with the murder of Nigel (Tom Sturridge), a fellow student Alex openly despised. Acting as if sudden confinement is a violation of his birth right, Alex appears indifferent to the gravity of his situation and impervious to the aggressive grilling of police inspector McKenzie (Richard Roxburgh).

With only circumstantial evidence, McKenzie calls in forensic psychologist Sally Rowe (Toni Collette) to secure a confession. As minute details of the fatal incident are revealed, the fiercely intelligent suspect denies any direct involvement before launching into stories of 13th-century Cathars being persecuted and how this relates to Nigel’s death being a “necessary” one that made it “seem like the gods were rejoicing.”

Everything, it seems, fits into Alex’s belief in Gestalt — the attainment of a unified whole that’s much more important than the sum of its parts. From this intriguing set-up, pic darts cleverly between Alex’s present-time psychiatric evaluation and flashbacks to his relationship with Nigel.

A brilliant student and a taciturn weirdo who enjoys dissecting animals, Nigel had identified himself and Alex as descendants of Knights Templars. Their mutual duty, he insists, is to carry out the ritualistic murder of schoolgirl Susan (Kate Maberly) and attain extraordinary powers in the process.

All this might come off as hokey if it weren’t for a well researched, well nutted-out screenplay that ping-pongs culpability from one boy to the other and casts further suspicion in several directions. Most potent of these is the manipulative role played by Alex’s ambitious father (Patrick Malahide), who’s also his headmaster and the member of a secret society.

With Roxburgh and Collette in secondary roles, Redmayne steps up to the plate with a chilling perf as the boy with psychopathic tendencies. Less effective is Sturridge — son of British helmer Charles Sturridge — whose sullen poutings suggest Nigel is more a spoilt child than a calculating young monster.

Filmed primarily on dank locations in Yorkshire, northeast England, with barely a hint of sunlight, pic exudes incubating menace. In harmony with lenser Nigel Bluck’s gray-blue widescreen palette are Carlo Giacco’s subtly applied brass-and-strings score and ace production design by Steven Jones-Evans.

Prominently featured upper-class boarding school betrays almost nothing of the modern age, making it a natural environment for ancient malevolence to take hold. Tech package is pro in all other departments.

Like Minds

Australia - U.K.

Production: A Dendy Films (in Australia)/Redbus Film Distribution (in U.K.)/The Weinstein Co. (in U.S.) release of a Film Finance Corp. Australia presentation of a Bluewater Pictures (Australia)/Gunpowder Films (U.K.) production, in association with South Australian Film Corp. and Screen Yorkshire. (International sales: Arclight Films, Los Angeles.) Produced by Jonathan Shteinman, Piers Tempest, Carol Hughes. Executive producers, Cyril Megret, Damita Nikapota, Robert Began, Toni Collette, Hugo Heppell. Co-producer, Richard Johns. Directed, written by Gregory J. Read.

Crew: Camera (color, widescreen), Nigel Bluck; editor, Mark Warner; music, Carlo Giacco; production designer, Steven Jones-Evans; art director, Lucinda Thomson; costume designer, Odile Dicks-Mireaux; sound (Dolby Digital), Toivo Lember, Keith Silva; assistant director, Karan (cq) Monkhouse; casting, Lucy Bevan (U.K.), Angela Heesom (Australia). Reviewed at Hoyts Cinema Paris, Sydney, Nov. 6, 2006. Running time: 109 MIN.

With: Alex Forbes - Eddie Redmayne Nigel Colby - Tom Sturridge Sally Rowe - Toni Collette Insp. McKenzie - Richard Roxburgh Headmaster - Patrick Malahide Susan Mueller - Kate Maberly Josh - Jonathan Overton Raj - Amit Shah John Colby - David Threlfall Helen Colby - Cathryn Bradshaw Rev. Donaldson - Hugh Sachs

More Film

  • Singapore Actor Aloysius Pang, 28, Dies

    Singaporean Actor Aloysius Pang, 28, Dies While on Military Service

    Singaporean actor Aloysius Pang died Wednesday of injuries sustained while on military training in New Zealand. He was 28. Pang was best known for his appearance in movies “Young & Fabulous” and “Timeless Love.” He also had a string of credits in Singapore TV series. Pang was involved in an accident last week while repairing [...]

  • Alibaba Lends $100 Million to Huayi

    Alibaba Lends $100 Million to Huayi Bros. in Film Investment Expansion

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film business arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has struck a strategic cooperation deal with leading film studio Huayi Bros. The deal includes a $103 million (RMB700 million) loan to Huayi. Alibaba Pictures said the agreement was part of its recently announced strategy to be involved in major movies aimed for [...]

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content