Saturday, September 06, 2008

Married Life: Grade B

Married Life (2008)
Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams; Co-writer and director Ira Sachs.

Fine acting is the main attraction in this quasi-noir film set in the late 1940’s to early 1950’s, judging from the cars, d├ęcor, costumes and sets, which are perfection for that period. Brosnan shows again that he is a real actor, not just 007, although he does not work as hard here as he did in Matador and Seraphim Falls. Although he is still good looking, he is too old for Rachel McAdams, the girl he steals from his childhood friend, Cooper, a businessman in his 50’s who is really too old for McAdams. Cooper’s character cannot bear to have his wife (Clarkson) learn of his infidelity, so he tries to poison her, and the director had Hitchcockian fun with that part of the plot. Cooper and Clarkson radiate acting talent. Cooper was merely stonefaced as the traitor in Breach, but here he is subtle and nuanced. McAdams tries, but she is only the McGuffin. Directing is also good in quiet scenes filled with meaningful glances or teacup rattling on saucer. Music is good but doesn’t add anything. Overall, the film is not noir enough, does not have a strong sense of style, and the happy ending is unbelievable, destroying whatever dark tone the story had, but still, the acting was far above average, well worth seeing.

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