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DVD Review



Starring: William H. Macy and Julia Stiles
Tartan Video
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 28 January 2008

Edmond is an unhappy man, just how unhappy is brought to his attention when for no explicable reason he visits a tarot reader on his way home from work. After she tells him that he is not where he belongs Edmond goes home, tells his wife that their marriage is a sham and heads off into the seedier side of New York. Finding no solace for his empty soul in booze or sex Edmond's behaviour becomes more extreme until he is finally wanted for murder...

Edmond (2005) was directed by Stuart Gordon, best known for Re-Animator (1985), and adapted for the screen, from his own one act play, by David Mamet. The film won three minor awards and was nominated for a further one.

Whatever else that is said about the film, the one thing that cannot be faulted is the acting. William H. Macy, better known for his quirky roles, looks like he is playing safe in a typecast role at the beginning of the film. His Deputy Dog jowls suit the character's own beaten down feeling about his life. It is only when Edmond is let loose on the under belly of New York that Macy show just how repressed Edmond was and how terrifying he can become when he loosens the shackles of his everyday morality.

There are some nice character pieces by Joe Mantegna, as the man in the bar who starts Edmond on his journey, and Jeffrey Combs (Shran from Enterprise and just about every other recent Trek show) playing an effeminate desk clerk. Last, but not least, is Rebecca Pigeon as Edmond's bemused and angry wife.

While the acting is great, the film as a whole is not. I’m not sure whether it doesn’t quite work as a whole due to the length of the film - a little over an hour and twenty minutes - or because Mamet took it from his own one act play. What is ultimately missing is a slower transitional period. Edmond goes nuts really really quickly - too quickly to really believe the transformation. Also Mamet’s apparent proposition, that everyone is a homicidal racist whose actions are restrained by white man’s guilt and societal rules, doesn't hold much water.

There is a nice choice of audio options with a stereo, 5.1 and DTS track provided. The PR blurb tells me that there might be some trailers by way of extras, but these were not on the review disc.

Overall, the film is worth watching for Macy’s superb performance as Edmund and Stuart Gordons’ direction, but as a play transposed to film it doesn’t really work.


Charles Packer

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