Monday, February 22, 2010

"The Eclipse" Fantastic Ghost Movie Coming Soon!




This movie is due out March 26th and I read a review in "Variety." It’s supposed to be a rather haunting ghost story. I’m dying to see it because it’s in picturesque Ireland and because Aidan Quinn stars in it and I think it’s a total dish of yum (the one with the beard)!

Here’s Variety’s review:

The Eclipse
(Ireland)
By JOHN ANDERSON

Stars:

Michael Farr - Ciaran Hinds
Nicholas Holden - Aidan Quinn
Lena Morelle - Iben Hjejle
Malachy McNeill - Jim Norton
Thomas - Eanna Hardwicke
Sarah - Hannah Lynch

Don't die angry. Such is the lesson of playwright-provocateur Conor McPherson's "The Eclipse," a film of such seductive grace, humor and startling side trips into buttocks-clenching ghastliness that auds won't know what to make of it (although it won't keep them from wanting to visit Ireland immediately). Heavy distributor interest at Tribeca will guarantee the film a respectable theatrical run, as well as bouquets of affection for Ciaran Hinds and Aidan Quinn, who are as good here as they've ever been.

McPherson, whose theatrical work ("Shining City," "The Seafarer") usually includes supernatural elements, has accomplished what might be called a literary film, inasmuch as the spare but loaded dialogue and the visual signifiers -- a father emptying a dishwasher, for instance, near a photo of a hollow-eyed woman wearing a head scarf -- tell us everything we need to know in economical, elegant ways. The father is Michael Farr (Hinds), who has yet to adjust to his new role as single head of household; he's a bit confused about his new role, as are children (Eanna Hardwicke and Hannah Lynch). Mom, dead from cancer, is far from forgotten. In fact, she hasn't really left the room.

The city of Cobh -- its cathedral provides the backdrop for much of the movie (a political-theological as well as aesthetic choice on McPherson's part) -- is in the middle of its annual literary festival. Michael is a volunteer, and among the visiting celebs he's assigned to drive around are Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle), a London-based writer of ghost stories, and Nicholas Holden (Quinn), an American whose novels are composed of elements of Hemingway, Mailer and Carver. Nicholas is an egomaniacal brute in intellectual's clothing, and he wants to revive the one-night fling he had at another festival with Lena, who is wisely declining his overtures. She and Michael, however, seem to be on intersecting trajectories. Michael and Nicholas are on course to collide as well.

But Michael has other emotional irons in the fire of his soul. His father-in-law, Malachy (Jim Norton), is residing, bitter and unhappy, in a nearby nursing home, and he's also making nightly appearances in Michael's dreams. Or are they dreams? It's no great leap to understand Michael's disordered subconscious as the result of unresolved grief over his wife and worries about his children. But McPherson never lets the viewer off with only one explanation for the strange things that appear -- or scream -- in the night. The inexplicable is a big part of the picture's charm.
McPherson's enormous indulgence, however -- and his mistake -- is in his visual realizations of Michael's horrific visions. Yes, the man is having waking nightmares, but the jump-scare manner in which Malachy appears, and the way he's portrayed, with a ghoulishness worthy of Rick Baker, is too much. Auds will laugh immediately after they gasp, and the effect is to take the viewer right out of the movie. It's a tonal derailment of everything else that's happening in the film and, unfortunately, will likely be the film's big talking point.

Much worthier of conversation are the performances. Quinn, alternately charming and loathsome, is brilliant, as is Hinds, an actor who has elevated everything he's been in (which ranges from "Prime Suspect" to "Persuasion" to "Munich"). Hjejle, the Danish actress seen in Nils Arden Oplev's "Portland" and Ed Zwick's "Defiance," is certainly glamorous, but also believable as a writer. That the drunkest person in an Irish film is an American (Nicholas) will have to be considered payback for what we did to Barry Fitzgerald.

Production values, notably the shooting of d.p. Ivan McCullough and the editing of Emer Reynolds, are first-rate.

6 comments:

  1. Ok, so I know I've seen that Aiden Quinn guy before...I just can't think of what I've seen him in. It looks like it will be a good movie. I just can't sit through scary movies though...I'm such a wimp! lol. I truly like the ghost documentaries and I like hearing stories, but I just can't take sitting through movies. Let me know how this one is when you finally do see it. If it's not too "ghoulish", maybe I'll attempt to watch it. Oh, btw, I looked at my trend on my google reader and you are top on the list. I've read more of your blog than anyone else's apparently. hehe :)

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  2. Ok, it was killin me so I looked him up. Benny and Joon, Practical Magic (which I loved him in!), Desperately seeking Susan, aaaand, Legends of the Fall (and it's no surprise that I didn't really remember him in this one since I was drooling over Brad Pitt in this one.) lol

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  3. Kim;
    Awesome! I'm glad you looked him up. He was great in Practical Magic and also Haunted. He was in another movie about a blind woman with an cornea transplant...can't remember the name of it, but yummy yummy. I'm an eye person and his are just intense. If a guy can look at you like a predator for prey, like you're the only dessert on the dish, like he's never seen anything so fascinating...yum! I readily admit that I am completely and totally immune to Brad Pitt and George Clooney, so no distractions there for me. I like more manly men and less GQ. Now you got me all distracted talking about my Hollywood crushes--biggest crush of all time? Adrian Paul "Highlander" show. Oh wow! Okay, I think I'll take a long chilly glass of water after that. Hey, I will definitely review the movie as soon as it's out and I see it. I get the feeling from what others have written too that it's less about the haunting and more about the drama. It's awesome that you like my blog so much even though scary movies frighten you. Good thing you weren't reading my scary short stories I wrote last October--you might have hid under the bed. Glad to have you on-board.

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  4. Yeah, I definitely agree he's cute. I'm immune to George Clooney as well...he just doesn't do "it" for me. Brad Pitt doesn't do much for me anymore either. Pre-Jennifer Aniston is when I liked him most...loved how he looked in Legend of the Fall (I had the poster on my bedroom door at the time..lol). Now, Rob Patinnson and the guy on Smallville...I think they're pretty hot. I find as I'm getting older, that I'm liking the younger looking guys...hell, who am I kidding, they ARE younger. lol

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  5. Kim;
    I admit, Rob shows promise, but I think he needs another 20 years to reach prime--I think men are totally hot in their 40s!

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  6. And ya know, it's funny...fictional horror stories scare me, but the real life ghost stories don't bother me in the least. It's weird huh? Yeah, I love your blog, but I have to steer clear of the zombie postings and bloody horror fiction...oh...and scary looking clowns (although I don't think I've seen those on your blog). lol

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