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EDMOND

Director: STUART GORDON

U.S.A. • 2005 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 82 MIN


AUDIENCES INURED TO THE VERY FAMILIAR TROPES OF DAVID MAMET—THE RHYTHMIC, STYLISED LANGUAGE, THE BLUE-COLLAR DISAFFECTION, THE BAR-STOOL PHILOSOPHISING—MAY FIND THEIR INTEREST IN THE CHICAGO-BORN PLAYWRIGHT REKINDLED BY THIS PROVOCATIVE FILM VERSION OF HIS 1982 PLAY.
Edmond is directed by Stuart Gordon, who is best known for the cult horror film Re-Animator, but in the 1970s he was artistic director of the Organic Theatre Company of Chicago and staged the world premiere of Mamet’s Sexual Perversity in Chicago. He does a good job on Edmond, a heavily allegorical long-night-of-the-soul drama dominated by an astonishing performance from the redoubtable William H. Macy. When Macy’s Edmond is told by a tarot card reader that he ‘is not where he belongs’, he takes her advice to heart; that night he leaves his wife and heads to the city with the intention of broadening his narrow horizons. He encounters Joe Mantegna (a Mamet regular) who, upon assessing his predicament, suggests that he either self-destruct or seek solace in the pleasures of the flesh. Edmond chooses both, a course of action which leads inexorably to murder and incarceration. Edmond is unusual for Mamet in that it self-consciously strives for importance; the protagonist’s growing dementia, his downward spiral, is depicted not as realism but as metaphor. For what exactly is open for debate. There is, however, much to savour here; a raft of engaging cameos from the likes of Mena Suvari and Julia Stiles, swift, lean pacing and that rigorous turn from Macy.— David O Mahony.

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