Ullman's deathly dull direction drains the life out of Strindberg's sexual politics, leaving the cast to flap about a mansion like a hankie caught in the updraft of a particularly sulphuric fart.
Chastain, Farrell and Morton do what they can, but they're working against a horribly monotonous camera, and constant Schubert interruptions that must rank as the most annoying use of classical music in cinema since Kubrick employed some Lygeti for Eyes Wide Shut.
Not just a lesson in how not to adapt a play for film, but also a lesson in how not to direct for the stage, such is its turgidness.
- Elisabeth Moss
- Jonathan Pryce
- Krysten Ritter
- Jazzy score (courtesy of Keegan DeWitt)
- Ironically chintzy 16mm lensing
What do all of these have in common?
They're all wasted on the story of Jason Schwartzman's totally detestable Philip, a smug, self-obsessed novelist. As played by Schwartzman and as written in Alex Ross Perry's script, he's just too horrid. A vortex of bile, consuming all that comes within his orbit in a puff of hate.
Problem Child -levels of hate.
Rob Lowe in St. Elmo's Fire-levels of hate.
Fuck it; Jar-Jar -levels of hate.
Fuck my namesake.