July 15, 2006

I saw David Mamet’s new film, Edmond, tonight. “Mamet’s” in that he wrote it. Bill Macy stars under the direction of Stuart Gordon (of Robot Jox fame).

Oh boy did Mamet write it. From the first scene between Bill Macy and Mamet-wife Rebecca Pidgeon, it’s clearly a 100% Mamet film. What’s unclear is why the actors are unable to act naturally with Mamet’s lines.

“I am delivering a line of dialogue.”
“You’re delivering a line of dialogue.”
“I am delivering a line of dialogue.”
“Are you…”
“Are you delivering a line of dialogue?”

The only thing that distracts from the stilted acting is the appearance of a celebrity cameo every 5 minutes. In order of appearance: Joe Mantegna, Denise Richards, Ling Bai, Mena Suvari, Dulé Hill, Jeffrey Combs, George Wendt, Julia Stiles. This list is almost as long as the list of the film’s associate and executive producers.

Sometimes I love Mamet. Glengary Glen Ross is one of my favorite films. One of the best pieces of theater I’ve ever seen was Bill Macy and Phillip Baker Hall in American Buffalo. The first time I came across House of Games on cable, my friends and I were in a hurry to get to the grocery store for party supplies, but we couldn’t take our eyes off the screen and the party started late.

As Thomas put it, “There wasn’t anything to like. There wasn’t anything to hate, either. I just didn’t understand why the film exists.”


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