Director: Todd Haynes
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Main Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Mare Winningham, William Jackson Harper
Plot: The real-life story of one corporate defence lawyer and his lawsuit against a huge chemical company found to be knowingly poisoning thousands of Americans.
My Thoughts: These thriller-esque biographical movies are quickly becoming favourites of mine. If I can learn something new and shocking and have an absolute blast whilst watching, then what more can I ask for? I honestly thought Dark Waters was by the same director as Spotlight (2015) as they have a very similar style. And they both have Mark Ruffalo! So you’ll have to excuse my confusion. I’d struggle to sell this movie to anyone who hasn’t heard of it because on paper it sounds dry as hell, but it’s so good.
It starts a little slow and takes a while to get going, but Mark Ruffalo is so likeable that I was in it from the start for his character, and his character’s family too. Come the mid-way point of the movie a huge bombshell is dropped, and the pacing turns up tenfold from that point and doesn’t let go. I say it reminds me of Spotlight because that was the last movie I found myself angry watching.
It’s hard for me to fault the movie apart from the pacing at times, but for so long I couldn’t help but feel like Anne Hathaway was being wasted. She was a background character for so long but when the case kicked off, she got her chance to shine and it’s probably one of my favourite performances of hers. I also loved how some of the real people portrayed in the movie actually got cameo roles!
Best Bit: I’m torn between two moments in the movie. The first being when it was revealed that the problem was so much worse than originally thought. The second was the meeting Ruffalo’s character had with the head of the chemical company, going through all the evidence he had collected. It was so tense.
Worst Bit: Speaking of tense, I never thought I would be so stressed out watching someone turn their key in their car’s ignition. Also – chemical companies suck.
Fun Trivia: Second film Mark Ruffalo has appeared in dealing with the DuPont family. The first was Foxcatcher (2014).
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Teflon-coated pans, dug out of my kitchen cupboards and thrown away.