When Will Stoneman's father dies, he is left alone to take care of his mother and their land. Needing money to maintain it, he decides to join a cross country dogsled race. This race will ... See full summary »
David Ogden Stiers
A down-and-out film producer agrees to make his nephew's film about 19th century English statesman Benjamin Disraeli, but can only get financing if he casts a well-known action star. ... See full summary »
Hurly-burly is an adaptation of David Rabe's well known play about the intersecting lives of several Hollywood players and wannabes who's personal lives threaten to veer into a catastrophe more interesting than anything they're peddling to the studios. Written by
This is definitely not a movie for everyone. Heavy drug use, discomfiting sexual situations, bad language, violence, a talky, "stagey" atmosphere, and generally despicable characters. Even if you like the actors involved, this may still not be the movie for you (my aunt rented it for my uncle and herself on the strength of Kevin Spacey's name, and he still hasn't forgiven her).
Having said that, I really liked this movie. I never saw the play, but when I read through it, I thought it was the most misogynistic piece of garbage I had ever encountered. Seeing it on screen, though, was a completely different experience. I felt that I understood what the playwright was trying to get at: namely, that this is a piece about how "Eddie, through the death of Phil, is saved from being Mickey." In short, a spiritual redemption of sorts.
Performances are uniformly strong. I have never been a big Sean Penn fan, but I thought he did a more than competent job with Eddie, particularly in the later scenes where he veers between arrogance and pathos. Kevin Spacey seemed uncomfortable with some aspects of the dialogue (i.e. "blah blah blah" etc.), but otherwise did his usual masterful job, in a role which raises the same questions that many of us would like to ask of him.
The role of Donna was, I felt, disfigured by the many cuts in the script--she is more of a victim than a wanton, IMHO--thus, the best thing I can say about Anna Paquin's performance is that she did well with what she was given. I had no strong objections to any of the other casting choices, except for Meg Ryan as Bonnie, who apparently cannot even play a stripper without resorting to her usual cutesy mannerisms.
FWIW, I liked the director's technical choice of "opening" the scenes by putting the conversations on cell phones, etc. However, I would have willingly sacrificed some of the added dialogue for some of the original lines that got cut. Final analysis: I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and plan to buy it when it comes out on video,
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