Of course, Robert Pattinson is best known for playing Edward in the TWILIGHT saga. That likely won’t change until he eventually plays Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ planned Batman movie.
But those who have been paying close attention to Pattinson’s post-TWILIGHT roles knows that the man can act. And that raw talent is on full display in A24’s new drama, THE LIGHTHOUSE.
It helps when an actor has someone as intense, unpredictable, offbeat and captivating as Willem Dafoe to play off of, who co-stars in THE LIGHTHOUSE. Directed by Robert Eggers (THE WITCH), this tense drama follows two men who arrive at a remote lighthouse for four weeks of service. Dafoe’s character is the seasoned veteran, Pattinson the newcomer who comes to the lighthouse to escape… something. But both men have dark secrets, and the lengths they will go to protect their pasts just might drive both men mad.
Casual viewers might be surprised by Robert Pattinson holding his own with Willem Dafoe, but it just means you have to catch up with some recent dramas that have allowed him to hone his craft. Pattinson is the focal point in stirring dramas such as GOOD TIME for the Safdie brothers, as well as HIGH LIFE by Claire Denis. He has matured as a performer, primarily by seeking out-of-the-box features like THE LIGHTHOUSE, and this movie benefits because of that growth.
It’s worth noting that this two-hour, black-and-white AMC Artisan Films title needs both Pattinson and Dafoe to be mesmerizing, because it’s predominantly just them on screen the entire time. The isolation of the environment works as a third character, and the men played by Dafoe and Pattinson play games with each other, trying to get the upper hand while also surviving on the lonely island.
After taking home an award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, THE LIGHTHOUSE is touring more film festivals — including Toronto, where AMC managed to see it — and will be playing at a theatre near you starting October 18.