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Blog by Don Kennedy

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Shutter Island

Shutter Island is adapted from Dennis Lehane’s novel of the same name.  Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a Massachusetts Marshal haunted by WW 2 concentration camp atrocities who in 1954 along with new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) is sent to investigate a case involving an escaped patient named Rachel (played intermittently by Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson) from a hospital for the criminally insane. Since the facility run by creepy doctors Cawley (Ben Kingsley) and Naehring (Max von Sydow) is located on a remote Atlantic outcropping Rachel’s departure is truly a mystery. As we find out Teddy has an agenda in taking the case as he’s also haunted by the untimely death of his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) at the hands of an arsonist named Laeddis (Montreal’s Elias Koteas).  Things get unnerving when it appears that the island is slowly turning out to be a snare for Teddy. Shutter Island marks the return to the director’s chair for the legendary Martin Scorsese who has the creds to render the service of Hollywood’s elite with just one phone call but for the 4th time has cherry picked DiCaprio as his leading man. As usual Leo proves to be more than the right man for the job. The film culminates with a huge twist that can be figured out well in advance if you halfway pay attention but everyone has fun adopting a Boston accent and Scorsese seems to have borrowed the cellist from Jaws to dominate tense scenes and turn the production into a Kafkaesque salute to film noir.