Death in Love (2009)
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as Eldest Son
as Youngest Son
as Talent Agent
as Head of Modeling Age...
as Young Girl
as Young Mother
as The Waitress
as Young Girl's Father
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Critic Reviews for Death in Love
Yakin and his cast are up to the job, but the current they tap into is so charged it proves overpowering. Still, their bravery is commendable.
There's something seriously wrong when you assemble actors this good -- and can't believe a single stilted word coming out of their mouths.
How do you explain a movie as hermetic and perverse and ultimately repugnant as Death in Love?
It's not as if we learn anything or feel any insight or catharsis from watching his characters destroy themselves and others.
Audience Reviews for Death in Love
For the record, the last thing a beautiful naked woman(Morena Baccarin) wants to deal with is a man(Josh Lucas) in the middle of a midlife crisis, causing her to get dressed and leave, leading him to masturbate himself to sleep. He's not the only one not getting any, as his younger brother(Lukas Haas), a talented but emotionally disturbed pianist with weird eating habits, suffers under the thumb of their controlling mother(Jacqueline Bisset), a Holocaust survivor. So much so, that the older brother cedes control of his apartment to him, forcing him back into the workplace of a semi-legit talent agency where he meets the new gun(Adam Brody).
As "The Night Porter" proved decades ago, trying to combine sex and the Holocaust can only move a film into exploitation territory no matter how artsy you think you are. And that's especially the case with "Death in Love" that also has predictability and ponderousness amongst its sins. On the plus side, it valiantly tries to explore the connection between the body and the soul with some memorable images like the opening montage of sex and dissection and rabbis preparing bodies for burial. The older son wonders if his mother has a soul(he puts it much more crudely), considering how cold hearted she seems. That attitude actually allowed her to survive the Holocaust intact, but in the movie's eyes, it also somehow makes her complicit in its crimes.
Boaz Yakin has created a provocative, perverse, angry and highly uncomfortable film that has one too many twists for its own good. I suspect the audience who will like this film is much smaller than the one who will hate it. I found it to a fascinating and surreal exploration into psychological and pathological self-loathing. The use of the The Holocaust is a very bold and repugnant choice -- but this film is absolutely riveting. The acting is top notch. Bisset gives a solid and unforgettable performance. While the film verges on prevention is somehow manages to pull back just enough to leave an impact. Yakin's film is as ambitious as it is disgusting. There are so many dark themes regarding human nature and survival it is both impossible to simply dismiss it and nearly impossible to fully embrace it. But, in my opinion, this is a haunting and powerful little film. Be warned: a movie about the darkness of humanity, pain and survival is not going to be suitable for popcorn and a date.
I was surprised by the number of "name" actors in this low-budget movie. But, from the opening sequence, I was impressed with the writing and directing and can understand why they would want to be associated with this project, because it was a true work of art. That being said, apparently this movie is not for everyone. But if you like something different that pushes the envelope give it a shot.
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