Spider David Cronenberg

Spider David Cronenberg
An absolutely stunning motion picture, Spider starts off relatively tedious but picks up its pace in its intriguing plot then caps it off with a dramatic conclusion. Though the whole tiresome concept of playing someone with a physical disability is a sign of a great actor and usually a nod from the Academy, Ralph Fiennes is in fact compelling as Spider. The otherwise extremely well-spoken actor uses sheer body language and inaudible mumbling to give life to a man with schizophrenic symptoms, one who tries to piece his memories back together after being released from an institution. Fiennes isn't alone, as he is joined by career performances from Gabrielle Byrne, Lynn Redgrave and the incredible Miranda Richardson, who manages to pull off three roles with amazing results. What makes this DVD so special though is the fact that the features tend to shed so much light on the film through director Cronenberg's commentary and three worthwhile featurettes. Though his voice tends to make your skin crawl at times, Cronenberg actually guides us through the film and focuses on explaining what events are taking place on the screen, rather than amusing anecdotes that happened on the set. This is refreshing for a movie as thought-provoking as Spider — to hear the director's own views is like having a conversation post-film with a friend and trying to figure out what on earth you just saw unfold. The featurettes include interviews with everyone involved, from the director to the actors to the author of the book in which Spider was based upon. Through these short documentaries we learn that this project may never had finished production had it not been for miracle funding from the Canadian and British governments, as well as a dedicated crew and salary deferrals for the entire cast, as well as Cronenberg. Apart from the commentary and the three featurettes, there's nothing else, but these elements are just enough to shed the right amount of light on such an incredible picture. In the times where multi-disk versions of DVDs are seen as the standard, it's good to know there are people out there that know when enough is enough, saving us from having to plow through a mountain of extras and getting little to retain. Extras: commentary by David Cronenberg; three featurettes. (Alliance Atlantis)