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Leonard Grey has been the super of the apartment building Jericho Mansions owned by Lily Melnick for thirty years. Leonard is slow and agoraphobic, as well as having amnesia, and dedicates his leisure time to build a complex bridge with clips. When the husband of the landlady (Lily) dies and she receives a call from her sister that lives in Europe, Lily rebukes Leonard and tries to force him to be fired or arrested by the police, forging evidences that he is a thief. However, most of the dwellers like Leonard and he stays working in the building. When Bill Cherry, husband of the masseuse Donna Cherry and lover of Dolores O'Donell, is murdered in Jericho Mansions during the night, the police investigate. There are many suspects, including Dolores's betrayed husband Eugene; Lily and Leonard. However, Jericho Mansions hides a dark and cruel secret. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Alberto Sciamma's "Jericho Mansions" is a strange film that hides a secret we are not going to be told until the end. This is a story of a building super, who is evidently slow, or mentally challenged. The film is mildly engrossing and it shows a director whose sensibilities seem to be rooted in European film making.
At the center of the story we have Leonard Grey, who we realize early on has a mental problem. The landlady, Lily Melnick is a horrible woman who seems to get pleasure in berating her employee. We wonder, why not fire him? Well, that's not possible because we discover toward the end the nightmare Leonard has gone through in his life and how the truth has eluded him all the years he was under Mrs. Melnick's employment.
James Caan makes a rare appearance in this indie production. He is good as the super that seems to be perplexed by all what's going on around him. Genevive Bujold, rarely seen these days, also makes an interesting landlady from hell. The supporting cast does good work under Mr. Sciamma's direction, notably Jennifer Tilly and Maribel Verdu.
"Jericho Mansions", while not breaking new ground, is different in the way the story is presented and developed.
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