Friday, June 1, 2012

Hysteria


Often it's the films you least expect to be great that turn out to be the best of the year.  And that's the case with this British period comedy about the invention of the vibrator.  I've seen it twice now, once at Toronto and once at Tribeca, and it was among my favorites at both festivals.  Hugh Dancy, a cross between two other Hugh's, Grant and Jackman, gives one of the best performances of the year so far.  The great Rupert Everett and Jonathan Pryce are as good in supporting roles as I've ever seen them.  Felicity Jones follows up her attention grabbing role from 'Like Crazy' with a very endearing part.  And even Maggie Gyllenhaal who tends to annoy me with her exuding arrogance was quite good as the exudingly arrogant do-gooder.  There are superb performances all around, helped largely by great writing from start to finish.

Take note, this is not a film for mainstream audiences who crave movies like 'The Avengers'.  After all, it IS a British period film.  But it's a very accessible, likeable, funny, playfully sexual, feel-good, non-stuffy British period film.  It's a great date movie, though its likely to be appreciated more by women than men.  And I'd say it was a lock for an Academy Award nomination except for it's release so early in the year and, surprisingly, the pre-release rating on Rotten Tomatoes isn't very good.  I don't get that at all.  Am I crazy or is everyone else?
 
Grade: A+

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