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I can sympathize with this movie’s reactive essentialism, which seems to imply that straights are as one-dimensional as they seem to think gays are, but I find it hard to stay interested in the reductive sense of human personality that levels everyone in the movie regardless of his or her sexual preference.
With Derrick Sanders, Timothy Vahle, and Barbara Lasater. Read more » Based on feedback, I would guess that this article, which first appeared on June 25, 1998, is the most popular piece I’ve ever published in the Chicago Reader.
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It’s strictly a side issue whether mankind will survive colliding with an asteroid the size of Texas; the real question is whether Liv Tyler, who plays Bruce Willis’s daughter, gets to keep her boyfriend (Ben Affleck).
See, on the surface, there’s a movie that’s ripe with promise of tension, questions, answers, family-history, and well, ideas about the world we live in, the world we make for future generations to come around, and most above all, politics.
In that sense, had the movie just been a four-hander between these four very talented actors, just waxing on and on about life and all of its issues, then yes, is, for lack of a better term, overstuffed beyond belief and way too busy to really work with itself out.
Various complications ensue when the rumor spreads that something in the drinking water turns people gay.
"With Edith Wharton, the gloves are off and there's blood on the walls." So says director Terence Davies, who delivers the author's 1905 novel to the screen in all its full, flinty vigor.
The delicate dynamite of Gillian Anderson in a performance that deserves to be widely celebrated brings a grieving heart to this vicious social satire.
In looking at greedy old New York at the turn of the last century, Davies finds only a few things changed about the pulse of sex and the city.
His good looks have won him a fair share of leading man parts, but he has also frequently rejected the wholesome image to access his dark side, playing some angry and downright scuzzy types. "I've never plotted out how to become a 'marketable persona.'" What he has become is a first-rate actor, one who makes time for stage roles and counts having to turn down a chance to act opposite Julie Harris in a Broadway production of "The Glass Menagerie" as one of his major career disappointments.
(He did finally portray Tom Wingfield in a Williamstown Theater Festival version of the Tennessee Williams' classic.) Though many of his projects do not afford him a big pay day, he works often enough in big studio releases to subsidize his passion for plays and indies and the rewards they bring.