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Overall Rating
3.5

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look53.33%
Average: 43.33%
Pretty Bad: 3.33%
Total Crap: 0%

4 reviews, 6 user ratings


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Edmond
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Where The Streets Have Many Names--Most Of Them Unprintable"
4 stars

Considering the fact that it features a screenplay by none other than David Mamet and a reasonably high-profile cast, you may wonder why “Edmond” is only receiving a spotty distribution in a few big cities instead of receiving a normal nationwide release. Once you finish watching this shocking powerhouse of a film, you will easily understand why every major and independent studio decided that it was too much to handle.

Based on Mamet’s 1982 play, it chronicles the journey of the title character (Macy) an average middle-aged man who impulsively decides to walk out on his former life after hearing the odd spiel from a fortune teller who informs him that “You are not where you belong. The night does not get off to an auspicious start–his announcement to his cold wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) that he is leaving her somehow backfires into her throwing him out and his attempts to buy sexual favors from an assortment of prostitutes and strippers (including Denise Richards, Bai Ling and Mena Suvari) all becoming bogged down in embarrassing arguments over the financial aspects. (Edmond is the kind of guy who gives a stripper a twenty-dollar bill and then asks for change.) Before long, he finds himself confronting his previously unspoken fear and anger towards women, blacks and gays–groups that he does not and cannot bring himself to understand–until it suddenly explodes out of him in a series of increasingly violent events involving both a pimp () and a cocktail waitress (Julia Stiles) who unaccountably takes pity on him. Eventually, he winds up coming face to face with that most terrifying of unknowns–the real person that has always been living inside of him–and finds an ironic sort of freedom.

Mamet’s screenplay (which curiously suggests such films as “Eyes Wide Shut,” “After Hours” and “Fight Club,” even though the play was written long before any of those were produced) is volatile and brutal material, both physically and emotionally, and director Stuart Gordon (who, before making the cult hit “Re-Animator,” staged the inaugural production of Mamet’s first play, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” during his days at the Organic Theater) approaches it in the only possible way–head-on and without any apologies or pulled punches. Luckily, he has, in Macy, an actor who is willing to take the same approach to playing such a character. Even at his most unrepentantly brutal and misanthropic, Macy makes Edmond such a fascinating and recognizable character that it is impossible to take your eyes off of him no matter what he says or does. The supporting cast is also quite strong as well–Joe Mantegna paints an impressive of shallow amorality as a guy in a bar who inspires Edmond’s journey, Julia Stiles does some of her best work as the one person who makes a genuine connection with Edmond and pays dearly for it and even Denise Richards makes an impression as a hilariously and chillingly pragmatic B-girl who turns the charm on and off in a heartbeat depending on how much money her current mark is carrying in his wallet.

Be warned–“Edmond” is not a light and frothy evening at the movies–it is a dark drama that will take even the most open-minded of viewers to places that they might not want to go–but those who are willing to go along for the ride will find it a work that is, once seen, almost impossible to forget.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14194&reviewer=389
originally posted: 07/28/06 13:58:10
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Independent Film Festival of Boston For more in the 2006 Independent Film Festival of Boston series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantasia Film Festival For more in the 2006 Fantasia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.

User Comments

4/19/17 danR "...change <i>OF</i> a twenty." Definitely New Yawk. 4 stars
9/23/11 PAUL SHORTT UNPLEASANT DESPITE A GOOD STAR PERFORMANCE 2 stars
5/04/09 brian Maybe ennui isn't so bad after all..... 4 stars
3/25/08 terry macy brilliant 4 stars
11/23/06 Indrid Cold A pleasant surprise. Leaves me more impressed with Mamet than with Macy. 4 stars
10/15/06 William Goss Macy is solid, story is unpredictable, but rather underwhelming overall, kinda like Bubble. 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Jul-2006 (R)
  DVD: 03-Oct-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Stuart Gordon

Written by
  David Mamet

Cast
  William H. Macy
  Julia Stiles
  Joe Mantegna
  Bai Ling
  Rebecca Pidgeon
  Jeffrey Combs



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