I’ve seen three films already today…I have a bit of free time and I decided to write and update now (as I might be out late this evening).
First off, I saw HYSTERIA – a comedy set in 1880 starring Hugh Dancy & Maggie Gyllenhaal. The movie is about a young doctor who is fired from his job and has to find a new place to work. After being turned down numerous places, he is hired at a doctor’s office for women – most of whom seem to suffer from hysteria. Though the trailer seems nothing but breezy, this little film is a gem and is actually quite touching (on par with the likes of MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY). The performances, set design, costumes and score are wonderful. NEON regulars will love this film!
Next I saw UNION SQUARE – starring Mira Sorvino and Emmy winner Tammy Blanchard (as well as a small part by Patti Lupone). This rather stagey character study is relatively short, and overall, I don’t think it really worked on the big screen. The performances are strong, but it feels like a play. The story regards a woman who shows up on her sister’s doorstep after more than 3 years of not communicating. One sister is in a pristine house with a husband and an organic food business…the other is from the Bronx and wonders what happened to her sister and her roots.
I just got out of a screening of ALPS – the new film from Yorgos Lanthimos – director of DOGTOOTH. ALPS is the name of an underground group of roleplayers who substitute for people’s departed loved ones. The relationships between characters in the group are often volatile, and the performances are often stagey and almost unbelievable…but the actors in the film are incredible. I’m a big fan of DOGTOOTH, so I was excited to see this film. It has some interesting things to say about the human condition and our need for roles. Below is a photo I took of the director and his two leads actresses (I sadly didn’t see that Aggeliki Papoulia’s eyes were closed until I uploaded the photo to my computer) and a clip of some footage from the film.
If I don’t check in again tonight, I’ll certainly be back tomorrow.