|Index||4 reviews in total|
As this film has only had one screening so far at The Empire Leicester
Square as part of Frightfest 2011, I consider myself one of the lucky
few who has seen it.
Andy Nyman plays Martin, a proud but failing hamster of a man, who's gone from well paid middle class Exec to suddenly but secretly unemployed, debt ridden failure. His trophy wife (Neve Campbell), friends and ex colleagues are unaware of the hole that he is. Nyman acts this so convincingly that you found yourself literally cringing as he struggles to maintain his dignity while all around him are stripping him of it.
The film could have been slightly predictable from this opening scenario but it was not. I can't add much further without risk of edging into spoiler territory but can add that there are moments of comedy within the tension that are a welcome relief.
The ending is great and we found ourselves talking about it afterwards in terms of minor events that happened early in the film that became relevant as the film concluded. It is filmed with a very real-life feel to it which makes all the more disturbing.
Best film I've seen at the cinema in ages.
James Cosmo is phenomenal in this. He really makes this movie
worthwhile. And while Nyman is the leading man on paper (and don't get
me wrong he's good too), Cosmos performance makes this movie great. I
won't get into the story, but I can tell you that it is complex. Then
again, this might make you want to watch it another time, to get
everything that is implied and understand the whole thing.
The great thing about the characters is that even though you may think it doesn't make sense, in the end it does. On the other hand, you could also say that it is lazy how it all got stitched together. But that would be unfair to the movie. A nice little thriller that tries and succeeds.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really loved this movie. It totally wasn't what I was expecting. Halfway through I was genuinely shocked and surprised at the twist. Usually I see the setup coming, but in this case I really didn't, which was refreshing. In fact, after that I had to rethink the whole beginning of the movie. How much of it was real, and what parts were imagined through his illness? Stunning performances on the part of Andy Nyman and James Cosmo. Some great camera work with interesting angles and beautiful shots, even in the most chilling parts. A sympathetic and interesting portrayal of a very realistic and frightening descent into mental illness.
It's been a long strange journey for Christian Solemeno's The Glass Man
to finally hit a wider market, but man, is it worth the wait.
This is a mesmerizing jigsaw of a movie, literally right from the start, and it's hard to provide a plausible reason for that --- there are no explosions, shootings, or jarring acts of violence. Just mild-mannered Martin, played with spot-on brilliance by Andy Nyman, having his morning shave and unable to figure out why his window keeps banging open.
Martin is an upper-middle class man who seems to have everything: he's gone to the right schools, gotten the right jobs, has a beautiful primly posh wife (Neve Campbell with a drop-dead gorgeous Brit accent), and all the accessories that go with it (first-edition books, spotless house, luxury car, bespoke suit). Only one problem --- he's in danger of losing all of it. His bank account's 15k in the hole and he's behind on his mortgage to an almost equal sum. His wife knows nothing of any of this as Martin keeps everything from her.
Doesn't seem like thrilling stuff, but it is and that's mostly due to Nyman and the bubbling cauldron of rage and frustration he keep shifting upon, trying in vain to hold it all down. He does such a good job with this that he makes a character appealing who, on the surface, should be shallow, vapid, and worthy of mockery. Yet the maddening situations he continually encounters are all too familiar to most of us, and that's to Solimeno's great writing credit. You really do care about Martin and wonder how in the hell he'll manage this mess.
But then it gets messier. Literally in the middle of the night, there's a knock on his door, and a guy by the name of Pecco shows up (veteran James Cosmo in a flawless, effortless performance). Pecco says he's taken on the debt of an old prep school chum of Martin's who's OD'd. Since Pecco's the size of a small mountain, Martin has no choice but to let the guy in his house and he begins to... negotiate, finally taking Martin out into the night in an odyssey that is by turns terrifying, hilarious, and always fascinating. It reminded me a bit of the nightmarish ordeal Scorsese took Griffin Dunne on in "After Hours." I'm not giving away anything else but suffice to say that things just get odder and more bizarre, almost to the point of being nonsensical --- until you start to piece together what you've been so entranced by thus far. And that's the beauty of this movie. It really takes you for a ride --- I can't remember moving or looking at the clock once.
Solimeno has crafted a real work of art with this picture, and it feels almost like a great stage play at times. Cosmo and Nyman play the absurdity card as deftly as two veteran sharks in Vegas, with the expected dry crispness of classic British humor that swerves easily between satire and farce. Solimeno even puts in a cameo appearance as another one of Martin's school friends, now a huge cinema star who's being stalked by an utter psycho who seems... huh, awfully familiar.
But enough. Go see the Glass Man. Hell, buy it. You'll watch it more than once and you won't regret it. It's one of the most ingenious films of the year.
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