Abigail Clayton lives alone. Very alone. In fact, the attractive heiress has not left her Manhattan penthouse apartment for almost two decades. The famous daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Abigail disappeared from the prying eyes of the press and the intrusiveness of her family on her 18th birthday, the day she received her massive inheritance. During years of self-imposed isolation, Abigail has had contact with only two people-her building's Concierge, Klandermann, with whom she communicates via notes-and Dr. Raymond Fontaine, a longtime family friend and her sole confidant for most of her life. When the death of her elderly neighbor prompts NYPD Homicide Detective Frank Giardello to launch an investigation, the agoraphobic Abigail is distressed to find him outside her door, asking to question her. Having tried to acquire the dead woman's now vacant apartment to ensure her privacy, Abigail is further upset when her requests go unanswered, and new tenants Lillian and Charlie move ...Written by
George Gallo & Kevin Pollak
The plot of crimes moves along quickly but leaves the characters behind
A collection of good, underused actors and actresses have been assembled in "Columbus Circle". It's the type of place that is described as anything can happen there. I'll take their word for it. The events that occur in the movie get increasingly far-fetched as we go along, and unfortunately, to the detriment of the enjoyment of the film.
An old woman is found dead in her apartment. The simple answer is that it was an accidental fall but the police are there investigating it as a homicide. The main character, Abigail (Selma Blair) lives across the hall. When a detective questions her, we are supposed to believe that is the very first time she has opened her door for anyone.
Abigail isn't really Abigail. She's a wealthy heiress who disappeared from home when she was a teenager, never to be seen from or heard from again. Her family doctor (Beau Bridges) is her only confidante, and she communicates via letters with the Columbus Circle doorman. The detective is curious about her because he sees her as a victim. If this were a better film that would have been a very intriguing element.
It's not a bad film per se, it's just that the characters that interested us at first start acting in unrealistic ways and we're left scratching our heads over the point of it all.
After the old woman's body is removed, Abby wants to buy the place just for her peace of mind, but instead it goes to a young savvy couple (Jason Lee and Amy Smart) who are constantly at physical odds with each other. Apparently, Abby is so distraught over the welfare and safety of her new neighbour that she invites her into her apartment. As you can likely guess a whole host of problems, crimes, double-crossings and shady connections come with her.
The actors were all good. The characters could have been good if there was a bit more development. The plot moved fine for its short run time. I was mostly impressed with Jason Lee and Giovanni Ribisi. This is one of Lee's only dramatic ventures in his filmography and it's a great divergence for him. Ribisi played a smart, shrewed and caring detective which is a welcome change to his usual parade of drugged-out dopey teenagers. If the other actors more closely portrayed characters that resembled real people with normal or interesting traits and attributes, then I could have appreciated them too.
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