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Asylum (2005)

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A woman becomes very curious about one of her psychiatrist husband's inmates, a man who was found guilty in the murder and disfigurement of his former wife.

Director:

David Mackenzie

Writers:

Patrick McGrath (novel), Patrick Marber (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: John Irvin
Stars: Joan Plowright, Mia Farrow, Natasha Richardson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Richardson ... Stella Raphael
Hugh Bonneville ... Max Raphael
Gus Lewis Gus Lewis ... Charlie Raphael
Ian McKellen ... Dr. Peter Cleave
Joss Ackland ... Jack Straffen
Wanda Ventham ... Bridie Straffen
Sarah Thurstan Sarah Thurstan ... Mrs. Rose
Alwyne Taylor Alwyne Taylor ... Monica
Maria Aitken ... Claudia Greene
Hazel Douglas ... Lilly
Anna Keaveney Anna Keaveney ... Mrs. Bain
Marton Csokas ... Edgar Stark
Robert Willox Robert Willox ... John Archer
Judy Parfitt ... Brenda Raphael
Sean Harris ... Nick
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Storyline

In the 1950s, the psychiatrist Max Raphael is hired to work as superintendent of an asylum in the outskirts of London, and he moves with his wife Stella Raphael and their son Charlie. Stella has a passionless marriage and is ignored by Max. Her boredom changes when her son befriends the handsome inmate Edgar Stark, an sculptor that in a crisis of jealousy had killed and disfigured his wife, and that is treated by Dr. Peter Cleave, an ambitious psychiatrist that aspired Max's position. During the afternoons, Stella has a hot adulterous affair with Edgar until the day he escapes and their affair is discovered. Stella has to take a decision between her family and her wild passion for Edgar. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Passion knows no boundaries. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, some violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramount Classics

Country:

UK | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Casa da Loucura See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,272, 14 August 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$374,903, 13 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna Keaveney died before this movie was released. See more »

Goofs

While Stella is brushing her hair her blue nightgown is clearly on both shoulders. When Max moves toward her, the blue nightgown is off her left shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Max Raphael: I want you to understand what's going to happen next. The shock will wear off, and it will be replaced by a devastating grief. In time, you will come to terms with what you have done and you'll just be very, very sad. And that sadness will stay with you for the rest of your life.
See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

My Lonely Room
Written by Titus Turner
Performed by Titus Turner
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User Reviews

 
Like an insidious sense of darkness creeping up from the unconscious
25 August 2005 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

One of the factors that can add to the excitement and tension of the adulterous affair is the danger of being caught. Add to that, the fierce and idiosyncratic passion often attributed to artists. Then make the artist a raving psychopath and you have a pretty heady mix.

So finds the story of Asylum, Director David Mackenzie's further foray into shadowy worlds of sexual obsession, violence and madness. Stella (Natasha Richardson) is wearily married to Max (Hugh Bonneville), a psychiatrist working in a 1950s hospital for the criminally insane. He is overbearing to the point of being monstrous (by modern standards), joking to her about her being his 'pet patient' whilst expecting her to be a no-brainer wife who says the right things when introduced socially. In the initial build up, Mackenzie let's us see the smouldering lust in the face of inmate Edgar, who's incarcerated for murdering and decapitating his wife in a jealous rage. Just as he did with his previous movie, Young Adam, Mackenzie excels at portraying barely sublimated animal sensuality, which soon bursts across the screen in a way that is at once base and beautiful. Helen knows how insane Edgar is, and her feelings for him, but she is gradually drawn into his web of madness, together with her son.

Visually splendid in dank, grey tones, Asylum is an explosion of repressed sexuality that is frightening in its force and surprising in its ending. Natasha Richardson is fantastic as an ignored woman with a desire to be desired that wreaks destruction. Morbid, unsettling, erotic and deeply disturbing.


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