Starring: Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader, Leslie Ann Warren,
Stephen McHattie, and Jeremy Davies
Directed by: Steven Shainberg
is refreshingly naughty! A masterpiece of a mind trip.
I love this film more? No. Two incredible talents emerge
on the screen and collide in a synergism of abilities that make
this film engrossing, mesmerizing and a cerebral trip to the darker
side of the park.
Gyllenhaal is one helluva actor. I have been trumpeting this fact
for some time. Not happy with the cookie cutter roles often given
to the gals of glam Maggie bravely accepts roles that are meaty
and showcase her tremendous abilities
here is no exception.
Spader took a left off the generic film highway long ago and has
never really looked back. Fans of his works sit idly twiddling
their thumbs in anticipation for the next delicacy he'll find
for us. If he's in it - it's worthy, wild and weird!
follows the love affair, if you will, of two odd people who are
perfect for each other.
begin the love story with a woman (we will meet as Lee
Holloway in a moment) that is happily shackled. She's smartly
dressed and apparently doing everyday secretarial work despite
her handicap of neck and arm restraints.
buck up! This
is a James Spader film so you knew it wasn't going to dance
around the subject
to a mental institution six months earlier and the day sad little
Lee Holloway is just being released. She has a problem with, er,
um, for well, cutting herself a lot. When she "slipped"
and almost did herself in
. the parents who are not quite
Ozzie and Harriet ( Stephen McHattie and Leslie Ann Warren) mind
you, decided it would be best to seek help. Now the dear girl
is coming home.
feeling insecure about her desires for self-mutilation Lee focuses
on learning a skill. She goes and studys typing. She excels in
on paper at least.
she answers an ad for a secretary "position" at attorney
E Edward Grey's (James Spader) office the two start a waltz of
flirtations that is immediately obvious is a tad skewed.
Grey is something of a perfectionist. He can't stand typing errors
you see. And while Ms. Holloway's speed is tippity top of the
typist crest, she makes spelling errors that make the lawyer's
office staff look lax. He has also started to notice Lee's multiple
Band-Aids meant to hide her harmful habit.
eyebrow raises and he slowly lets his true, darker, self be seen
by the woman.
She could not be more receptive. Aha! She thinks [paraphrased]
," I enjoy a bit of consenual S&M."
When she gets so bold as to attempt to get her generic sex loving
guy pal Peter (Jeremy Davies) into her world, she learns the truth
about herself, her boss, and her heart.
Spader is a bit of manly yum. Here he uses his patented glare
and boiling sexuality to manipulate his mesmerized audience as
well as the film de jour's pray (Lee /Maggie). He's a powerful
actor and a fellow I would think about sporting shackles for myself....if
he asked. He'd look adorable in a dollop of strawberry whipped
Maggie Gyllenhaal is wonderful. I can
not get enough of her. This film will show the powers that be
this chickbabe can handle anything she tackles with grace,
range and unwavering perfection. Her brother, über cutey
Jake aint so bad either ....what a talented
family. You think they sit around on the holidays and spew out
great lines from great plays or just stuff themselves like human
ticks on a billion calories then half drunk on carbohydrates play
rule -free charades like the rest of us?
film is not for all. It focuses on a masochist and a soft-core
sadist as it two-steps into, well, James Spader land. And as surreal
as director Stephen Shainberg keeps his set E. Edward Grey and
Lee Holloway are brilliantly brought to life and become warm entities
thanks to Gyllenhaal and Spader. And they, together with their
equally talented cast mates, Leslie Ann Warren, Jeremy Davies
and Stephen McHattie, allow director Steven Shainberg to create
a Naked Lunch for the small office world.
is fantastically different and mesmerizing to watch. The open-minded
viewer - who can get the sex part out of their mind and watch
the unique love story transpiring - is given a chance to see an
incredibly bold script (based on a bold story by Mary Gaitskill)
performed by two of our finest actors in a celluloid symphony
of talent. Enjoy
and bring someone you've been meaning to
recommendation: Three peas and two scoops of mashed potatoes
for us and just a rounded dollop of strawberry whipped cream for