The late 1940s. Richard Langley, a bachelor playboy, narrates a story that starts when his best friend, Harry Allen, invites him to lunch to tell Richard he's in love. Trouble is, Harry's already married to Pat; he worries Pat would be hurt too deeply by a divorce. Then, Harry's new love, Kay, joins them. Richard is smitten, so when he finds out that Pat may be in love with someone else but won't tell Harry because she fears he would be too hurt, Richard can't decide if he should let all the cats out of the bag. He'd unite pairs of lovers, but he'd lose Kay. Meanwhile, Harry decides that a swift end to Pat's life would be more kind than divorcing her. He buys poison. Murder will out? Written by
John Bingham's novel, 'Five Roundabouts to Heaven', was adapted for "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" TV series as "The Tender Poisoner" (first aired 20.12.1962), by writer Lukas Heller. The 60-minute program featured Dan Dailey as Philip "Barney" Bartel, Jan Sterling as his wife Beatrice, and Howard Duff as their friend Peter Harding. See more »
Before I saw this film, I knew two things about it: The 4 lead actors, and it took place in the early 50's. After seeing Patricia Clarkson in "Far From Heaven," I was anxious to see her play in this period again.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this film. At first I didn't know what to make of it, or where it was going. It is a dark comedy. The twists and turns of the film are completely unexpected. It kept me on my toes, and the 4 lead performances were great.
Without going into the synopsis too much (you can find that anywhere) if I had to compare this film to another..... I'd say it's kind of a darker, funnier "Closer", but set in the early 50's.
What I found interesting about the film is that it was incredibly complex, well-written characters, in very complex situations, set in a very simple time.
Let's talk about Patricia Clarkson for a minute. This is an actress who should've been nominated for several Supporting Actress Oscars by now. (The Green Mile, All The Real Girls, Far From Heaven, Lars and the Real Girl.. to name a few). I hope she finally gets some recognition as the Leading Actress in this film.
Rachel McAdams: This proves her acting abilities. She is incredible in this film. She is so beautiful, subtle, and so commanding. Definitely her most mature role to date.
Of course, I expect nothing less from Oscar-winner Chris Cooper. This proves to me though that he can carry a film, and not just be a strong supporting character.
Brosnan is great too in the least "meaty" I'd say of the 4 leading roles. He is very suave, but also provides some unexpected comic relief.
Great film! Go and see this.
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