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The Designated Mourner (1997)

R | | Drama | 23 May 1997 (USA)
Jack and Judy are husband and wife, and Howard is Judys father. They live in some fictional undemocratic and repressive country, and tell us a story about their lives, mostly from Jack's ... See full summary »

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Cast

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David de Keyser ...
Howard (as David De Keyser)
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Storyline

Jack and Judy are husband and wife, and Howard is Judys father. They live in some fictional undemocratic and repressive country, and tell us a story about their lives, mostly from Jack's point of view. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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Rated R for some language
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23 May 1997 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Jack: Stories are as necessary as food.
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User Reviews

 
Yes, it's all talk, but what talk!
22 September 1999 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Three characters sit at table, taking turns speaking directly to the camera, talking of courage and cowardice in a time of repression, in an unspecified yet intuitively recognizable place and time not far from our own.

Shawn's virtuoso writing (far more nuanced than a short summary can convey) meditates on the hairsplitting liberal in us all, as 'the last people who really understand John Donne' are casually wiped out in the interest of 'fighting terrorism'.

As for the lack of action: yes, maybe it's really a radio play, but every actor or actress should *see* Mike Nichols, who gives an extraordinary, one-of-a-kind performance. Particularly, he breaks all the rules of "actor's diction," so he sounds just like a *real* person (say, being interviewed for a documentary). Not an effect you can use just anywhere, but brilliant here.


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