Friday, January 28, 2005

Dying Gaul

★ ★ Somehow, this movie managed to hold my interest despite the fact that I never really cared about the characters or what was going to happen to them next. It’s not a love story. Not a very good relationship tale. Not a mystery or thriller. Instead, Dying Gaul is a modern day Greek tragedy that uses Hollywood and homosexuality as simply vehicles to generate interest.

This is Craig Lucas’ first time in the director’s chair. He wrote The Secret Lives of Dentists (previously at Sundance, starring Patricia Clarkson). The movies tackle the same themes---the value and meaning of marriage, the impact of dalliances, the complexities of finding happiness and satisfaction without veering from tradition. But Dying Gaul comes at it with a different … orientation, and even outcome.

Patricia Clarkson is always excellent, but here she shows a little evil in her character, which is outside her normal range. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast comes off as wooden, certainly uninspired. Pay attention, because there are liberal doses of philosophy in the form of quotes and counsel. But the real tragedy here is the lack of a meaningful story or compelling characters.


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