SBS Productions, Constantin Film Produktion, SPI Film Studio,

Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz, Elvis Polanski, Eliot Berger

While walking home from school in Brooklyn Bridge Park, Ethan Longstreet is struck in the face by classmate Zachary Cowan in a scuffle. Ethan has damage to two teeth and will likely lose at least one of them. Mr. and Mrs Longstreet (John C Reilly and Jodie Foster) invite Zachary’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cowan (Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz) to their home to discuss the situation. The night escalates as each of the four seem to have remarkably different personalities and certainly their own problems. As things start out very civil, they soon turn into shouting and sometimes it’s Longstreets versus Cowans, but just as often it seems to be turning men against the women.

This was originally a play,and that is the feel of the entire film. It takes place in the Longstreet’s apartment and except fora short opening scene and a just as short closing scene featuring the boys at quite a distance from the camera, the whole movie is shot inside one room (and briefly the bathroo) of the Longstreet home. As in all stage plays, there isn’t much action, but it’s long on words and discussion. There are long monologues, and very static camera placement and not much moving about. But the character development is awesome, and each of these characters are very unique and bring a lot to the story. In the end you don’t really identify with any of these characters, but you have a good understanding of where they are coming from and why they are flawed like they are, no matter how silly they seem.

I did enjoy this film. It is a serious subject, but humorous throughout, if only through the zany characters in the story. Why the Cowans wouldn’t leave, I don’t know. Perhaps they knew they needed to look into their own problems.All in all, if you would like a slow developing story with lots of character development, this is a very good film of that kind. It is slow, but that helps to set us up to learn about the characters a little at a time. With a cast of these four actors, it is flawless.

Finally, this film is directed by Roman Polanski. For that reason alone, I didn’t want to put this in my queue, as I don’t want to support a cowardly criminal who would run away and hide instead of facing the courts for what he did, but I finally relented for the sake of the actors who put their efforts into this work. I’m glad I did, and although I still don’t want to support Polanski, I thought it was a really good play.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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