Hailed as one of the film industry’s most exciting and provocative new talents after the huge success of The Usual Suspects (1995), director Bryan Singer has built his reputation on making films that are essentially lengthy, verbally dexterous flirtations with the darker side of human nature.
Born in 1966, Singer was brought up in southern New Jersey. Raised in a Jewish household, his early childhood was, in part, marked by his formation with a couple of non-Jewish friends of a so-called “Nazi Club.” The existence of the club — which, Singer has said, was formed more out of a fascination with WWII than as a slight to his own heritage — was unsurprisingly put to a quick end by the director’s mother. The incident catalyzed Singer’s own awareness of his Jewish identity, something that would later inform his adaptation of Stephen King’s Apt Pupil and cause one interviewer to label him (presumptuously, perhaps) as “young Hollywood’s great Jewish hope.”
Singer’s upbringing… read more
If anything Singer builds suspense masterfully; in places it felt very Hitchcockian to me. I found it powerful in certain scenes too, and the story itself is just so fascinating and compelling that the flaws and contrivances (yes, British Nazis are at first distracting) don't add up to much.