Caine has already been cited as a likely Oscar nominee for his performance, which is clearly one of the most nuanced to date from this first-rate actor, and Fraser is funny and effective as a foil to the old pro.
The tense climax stretches the story's credibility to the breaking point, but for the most part this is noir of an exceptionally high caliber, its sequence of events revealing two complicated and compromised people.
To my knowledge there's no one anywhere making films with such a sharp sense of contemporary working-class life -- but for the Dardennes it's only the starting point of a spiritual and profoundly ethical odyssey.
The film persuades us to think long and hard about what prison means, and Lee has shaped it like a poem that builds into an epic lament, especially in a beautiful and tragic closing that risks absurdity to achieve the sublime.
I was floored by Cronenberg's mastery of the material. Fiennes gives one of his finest performances; Miranda Richardson, playing at least three characters in the protagonist's twisted vision, is no less impressive.