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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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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. Possession. 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

When Paramount Pictures secured movie rights to the book in 1997, the original plan was to bring Stephen King and Jonathan Demme on board as, respectively, Screenwriter and Director. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in the Summer of 1959. The Mk II Jaguar, as used by Raphael, was only introduced for the London Show in October of that year. (Please see 'Trivia' item, also). 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

Clock Tower Cha Cha
Written by James Fieldhouse
Performed by Lindley Band
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User Reviews

 
Desperate Housewives with a morbid twist
21 July 2006 | by Flagrant-BaronessaSee all my reviews

Romantic thriller Asylum is a fairly intriguing adaptation of a same-titled McGrath novel, rewritten into a script by the man who wrote Closer -- Patrick Marber. Keeping this in mind whilst watching, it is impossible not to notice similarities in writing between the two films. Like Closer, Asylum is very much a study of human relationships and sexuality and both heavily explore the theme of infidelity. Also, Marber seems to have a thing for having his male character pushing up women against a wall and confronting them with their cheating -- often using violence and crude language. Just an observation.

Moving away from Closer, in Asylum desperate housewife Stella (Natasha Richardson) is bored with her passionless life and dreads every day of being a good little 1950s wife to her stiff husband, who holds an important position as a doctor at a mental asylum nearby. Strolling her garden with her son one day, Stella meets mental patient Edgar who is working for them as their gardener. There is instant forbidden chemistry and the two engage in an illicit affair that soon blossoms into a passionate romance that is shadowed by more than just lust -- it is the fear of getting caught, there is sexual obsession, morbid jealousy on Edgar's part and a great deal of violence ensuing. It all sounds pretty juicy and it is at times so this isn't the kind of movie you want to watch with your parents.

Marton Csokas (whom I haven't seen in much) is perfect for the role of sexy madman Edgar who is so smokin' hot with desire and jealousy that his presence is felt in scenes he isn't even in. Mackenzie shows us the allure of Edgar and make us see why Stella is so attracted to him (in spite of his violent nature) and at the same time makes us see that WE could never be attracted to him. Why not? Because it all comes down to the mental state of Stella and what she needs in her life. I thought the mental state part was handled somewhat sloppily even though we see foreshadowing events. In the end, Asylum is a well-crafted and intense thriller as it succeeds in creating a dark atmosphere throughout and it is, for the most part, well-acted by a respected cast.

7/10


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