A failed novelist's inability to pay the bills strains relations with his wife and leads him to work at an escort service where he becomes entwined with a wealthy woman whose husband is a successful writer.
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Byron Tiller, happily married with a young child, is a writer whose last novel has ended up in the remainder bins. Down on his luck and struggling to make ends meet, he keeps bashing away, refusing to admit that perhaps he is not that good. One day, at wit's end and feeling sorry for himself, he meets someone who has actually read his book: a rather elegant looking Englishman who introduces himself as Luther Fox. Luther runs an escort agency Elysian Fields, which provides extremely wealthy women with attractive, intelligent dates. Desperate for any job- and Luther guarantees good pay and convinces him that it can be only temporary -Byron reluctantly agrees, keeping the whole thing hidden from his wife. He soon finds himself face-to-face with an extremely attractive woman, whose aging husband is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist grappling with a novel that may be his last. Before long, Byron finds himself immersed in a world that he finds almost impossible to believe and even harder to... Written by
Sujit R. Varma
"The Man from Elysian Fields" is a writer's film filled with sensuality, failure, loss, hope, infidelity, intrigue and deception with a touch of film noir. Byron Tiller (Andy Garcia) plays the starving artist with an early success that brought neither fortune nor lasting notoriety who is ready to compromise his ideals for grocery money. Luther Fox (Mick Jagger) has set up a deceptively unobtrusive escort service across the hall. Luther draws Byron into a discussion about life and winds up with a recruit for his high-class service. But writers need broad experience and this opportunity is too tempting for Tilly to pass up. He's entirely too reluctant which makes him ripe for the picking.
And he's just the candidate for the wife of a prominent author. This multiple Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Tobias Alcott played by James Coburn, is losing his muse and his health, but his powers of deception are as sharp as ever. His wife, played by the icy Olivia Williams, draws Tilly into the family with several offers he can't refuse. Andy Garcia nails the struggling writer's persona begging our sympathy while he spirals down the hierarchy of alternatives to keep the wolf from the door. Mick Jagger is perfect for the part of the Faustian lizard who's tiring of the game he's mastered. The role of the escort, his office facade and ultimately his own personal relationship crumbles under the weight of deception.
Tilly is seduced by the temptations of a shrewd couple (the Alcott's) whose too-good-to-be-true offer leaves him with a great story and perhaps a Pulitzer of his own. But he's got to write it. There's always a catch.
The Hollywood ending, so clearly the decision of a focus group isn't a worthy conclusion to this story. This is another film with talented actors, superior cinematography and an intriguing story but lacking direction. Recent films like "Posession" come to mind. The product is compromised when the director lacks the courage to bring the film to a meaningful - in this case a disturbing - conclusion rather than one that's "satisfying," Tilly's editor spoke to this issue when he rejected his second novel saying that the reader doesn't want to think microcosm when she's sitting on the bus... In trying to please the mainstream, reach a wider audience and improve the box office, we lose opportunities to excel.
So what else is new in Hollywood?
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