Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some Velvet Morning

Most people don't know playwright and film writer/director Neil LaBute by name. And of those that do, feelings towards him tend to be polarized. When I saw his first film 'In the Company of Men' in 1997 featuring Aaron Eckhart, I found it to be extraordinarily mean spirited and suspected him to be a chauvinistic misogynist. Though over time I have come to realize that I was completely wrong. He's actually just a brilliant writer with a great ear for dialogue and a keen observer of human behavior. His work almost always revolves around men and women being cruel to each other. And while often exaggerated, it always feels completely honest and provides thought provoking commentary on the battle of the sexes. I particularly enjoy his films 'The Shape of Things', 'Your Friends and Neighbors', and Some Girl(s).  And we can now add 'Some Velvet Morning' to my list of favorites.

Stanley Tucci plays a man who has just left his wife for his former lover, played by Alice Eve.  He shows up at her home, unexpectedly, and announces that he's finally done it.  But her feelings don't exactly match his.  Tension builds as this uncomfortable interaction escalates and unfolds in real time.

'Some Velvet Morning' is available right now on Video on Demand

Grade: A

Who is this movie for?  Fans of Neil LaBute's unique and often uncomfortable writing, as well as off-Broadway dialogue-heavy plays with only two actors and one set.  For me this is a true delight.  For big action blockbuster fans it will undoubtedly be the most boring hour and 24 minutes.  Though if you do love it as much as I did, pair it with the other LaBute treasures mentioned above or with the more popular 'Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight' trilogy.

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