Wealthy, brilliant, and meticulous Ted Crawford, a structural engineer in Los Angeles, shoots his wife and entraps her lover. He signs a confession; at the arraignment, he asserts his rights to represent himself and asks the court to move immediately to trial. The prosecutor is Willy Beachum, a hotshot who's soon to join a fancy civil-law firm, told by everyone it's an open and shut case. Crawford sees Beachum's weakness, the hairline fracture of his character: Willy's a winner. The engineer sets in motion a clockwork crime with all the objects moving in ways he predicts. Written by
Near the end, the case Beachum reviews regarding double jeopardy is People v. Bivens, 282 Cal. Rptr. 438, 231 Cal. App. 3d (Cal. Ct. App., 1991). Under Bivens, California can prosecute Crawford for murder, even though it arises out of the same transaction as a defendant's prior case. See more »
When the nurse removes the endotracheal tube from Ms. Crawford, you clearly see it was only long enough for the actress to bite down on it and missing several inches of tubing that should have gone down her trachea. See more »
Fracture is the story of Ted Crawford (Hopkins), a rich engineer who shoots his wife after discovering she is having an affair. When the police arrive, he confesses and hands in his weapon, and the case is passed on to hotshot DDA Willy Beachum (Gosling), who sees this, his final public service trial before he moves onwards and upwards, to be a slam-dunk case; but alas, thanks to Crawford's mind games, things are not what they seem and the case undergoes a series of twists and turns as Crawford and Beachum engage in a tense battle of wits.
The most obviously noticeable thing about Fracture is the how well-polished it all is. The whole thing looks so...expensive. The cars are expensive. The phones are expensive...even the cutlery during the Thanksgiving dinner scene looks expensive. Beachum seems to wear a new suit in every scene, and even the outdoor location shots look glossy; South California looks like it has been lacquered up especially for the camera lens.
It's all very smooth, well edited, cleverly shot, and well-paced, but without these two actors, this movie would have been nothing more than a glossy second-rate courtroom "thriller". Hopkins and Gosling take it to the next level with great lead performances. Hopkins clearly enjoys playing this sort of manipulative role, controlling events, making sly remarks, and winking in that very obviously shifty way, and he gets to drive flashy cars and live in a big house while he does it, which I imagine only increases the amount of fun he has. Similarly, the cockiness arrogance of DDA Beachum allows Gosling to strut around, make wisecracks, and generally be a smug git. While the Hopkins-Gosling clashes make the movie, they are ably supported by David Straitharn, Rosamund Pike, and Billy Burke, who all inject a bit more life and background into the film.
While the ride is comfortable for the most part, Fracture slips a gear towards the end; the shift from murder mystery to moral crusade feels a little bumpy, but nonetheless, strong performances and great artistic direction make Fracture a stylish, clever and enjoyable thriller that's definitely worth a look.
49 of 56 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?