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William J. Norris
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A man in a suit at a Manhattan firm leaves work on Friday; he looks unhappy. He stops at a fortune teller's for a Tarot reading: "You are not where you belong," she tells him. That evening he quits his marriage and walks the streets of New York, passing from a classy bar to a gentleman's club, then to a high-class bordello, a mugging, a pawnshop, and a diner where someone does listen. He shares his insights with her and later with others. Violence, disappointment, and musings entwine as Edmond loses his moorings while believing he's found them. Where does he belong? Written by
This movie is similar to "Falling Down" in its plot, and "Crash' in the way it deals with lives spinning our of control because of racism and other intolerance, but I thought it was far more believable and had a more satisfying end than both. I have watched "Edmond" three times over the last two days (it only goes for 74 minutes) and I was very happy to have hired the DVD rather than to have seen it at the Cinema as I was able to go back and watch the scenes that did not sink in as profoundly the first time round. The first time I watched it alone and found I missed a lot of important dialog and imagery that was crucial to the story because I was thinking about the previous scene...so when the end hit me, I found my head was spinning and I couldn't believe what I was seeing and thought I must have missed something. Wasn't this man a homophobic, racist, bigoted, atheist?...So i watched it again and saw that I had (my fault not the films)in fact missed some crucial but minute facts. So, the second time I was able to fully get my teeth into it and because I knew the outcome I could concentrate on the brilliant, realistic performances of the actors and direction without thinking about what had just happened or worrying about what would happen next. No one could fail to notice the extreme brilliance of William Macy. I knew he was an amazing actor but I think this is better than some of the best academy winning performances that I have ever seen and I cant believe it was overlooked by the academy! Also Julia Stiles performance was fascinating...Even though Stiles role is only short it is the turning point of the film. Macy goes from a mild mannered, suburban business man, in what he feels is suddenly a monotonous, loveless, one sided marriage, living a very white, middle-classed existence to a manic, explosive, violent, bigoted, homophobic, 'grass must be greener on the other side', racist before you know whats hit you. Even when he smiles it is in the most inappropriate places. Also, watching Stiles the second time I realized that she wasn't just a silly, wanna be actress trying to be cool and politically incorrect, but a person who was deeply struggling with the fact that the stranger she has stupidly and casually brought home with her may well end her life...So, what does she do? Go against him or agree with him? Does she say what he wants to hear or stay true to herself? You will not be able to take you eyes of the rawness and brutality of this scene for one second. The third time I watched it with my husband, who was as blown away with it as I was, but I found myself pointing out stuff to him so he wouldn't have to watch it twice to get it as I did...although, I realized everyone gets something different out of a film, so I was wrong to do so, and so I wont do that here either or it may spoil your own experience. Watch this film with an open mind. I know this parallel, seedy, underbelly of life does exist, so far removed from my sheltered, secure, tolerant, safe world, made up of the downtrodden, abused, rejected, masses who don't know how else to act as they have never known love, safety or security (and sadly, probably never will). As well as the actors performances themselves, I take my hat off to the brilliant direction and music of this wonderful film adaption of an equally wonderful play. It is like a book you cant put down...you just have to watch it to the end without distraction. I believe these are the roles actors wait for all of their lives and will happily do for nothing.
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