Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Fall of the British Middle Class

Apparently, it's every actor's dream to play a loser.  William H. Macy knows this, and did so in Fargo.  George Clooney also knows it, and hence his roles in The Perfect Storm, Michael Clayton, and to a lesser extent, Batman & Robin.  So too with actor/director Sir Richard Attenborough, who became his generation's David Lean... sort of.  Here he teams up with director Bryan Forbes, another name fraught with British tradition and heraldry.  Forbes in turn teams up with composer John Barry, and actress/wife Nanette Newman in this tale of kidnapping.  I hate to give it away by saying it goes awry...
Kim Stanley is the main one here as Myra Savage, the domineering and pseudo-psychic wife of long suffering, bent-nosed Billy, played by Attenborough.  We see them prepping a spare bedroom in their two-story post-War house of Usher.  The wrinkle is: they're prepping it for a kidnapping.  Having a Coen-centric cinema brain, I couldn't help but think of Raising Arizona, but with less comedy, of course.  Perhaps the spirit of The King of Comedy is more apt.  Stanley says that the plan is all to appease a dead relative, but with some modest fame and riches as well.  Sometimes having a gift such as psychic powers isn't enough for a satisfying life, especially with the tightwad crowd that come to their house for weekly seances.  And so, with Seance on a Wet Afternoon, perhaps it's better in a way to be a monarch for a couple days instead of a wanker for a lifetime... something like that.

Good double bill with: what else?  The Dock Brief (aka Trial and Error).

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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