• Unrated, 1 hr. 27 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Martin Donovan
    In Theaters:
    Jul 6, 2012 Limited
  • Tribeca Film

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Collaborator Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

March 28, 2014
Slow moving, but really quite enjoyed this. Interesting story about a writer who returns home to visit his mother after a professional set back. He revisits the girl he left behind and gets into more than he bargained for with the neighbour, a 57 year old man who has never left home and has a few issues of his own.
Definitely an original story, and the usual good acting you can expect from Martin Donovan.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2012
After two straight flops on Broadway, playwright Robert Longfellow(Martin Donovan, who also wrote and directed) needs to desperately recharge his batteries. So, he returns home to Los Angeles to visit his mother(Katherine Helmond) while his wife Alice(Melissa Auf der Maur) and two children stay behind. While there, he is hired to do some script doctoring before meeting with Emma(Olivia Williams), an actress and old friend, who has better ideas, not only professionaly but personally. Seeing as how Robert is so busy, it might be understandable how he has not been able to find the time to have a beer with Gus(David Morse), a friend from the neighborhood.

"Collaborator" is a movie that defly defies expectations and cliches by taking a low key approach to the material. The lone exception is a remarkable emotional explosion that one character has kept pent up for decades to thankfully express an opinion which I have also been waiting a long time for somebody else to bring up, even if it has to come from a character who is so smug. Since they were shaped in different ways by the same incident, Robert probably looks at Gus in a 'there but for the grace of you-know-who, go I' kind of way; clues to which are slowly revealed throughout the movie. In other words, Robert cannot escape his past, just as his present is unraveling, despite his success in life.
John B

Super Reviewer

July 19, 2012
I had wondered where Martin Donovan had gone after being a staple in so many Hal Hartley films. It turns out that he was preparing to do this one..an act/direct job that is sharply written and benefits from two wonderful character actors. David Morse is unbelievable.
March 12, 2013
Entertainment One's latest crime thriller (if one can venture to call it that) is one of those movies that must be watched more than once to be fully appreciated. It has been received to largely mixed reviews. Chances are that those who gave the movie bad marks perhaps didn't give it more than a passing glance in their first viewing of this not so ordinary story. It is not a movie that fits perfectly into every critic's comfort zone. Rather, it delves into a far more psychological and emotional place through the pairing of Gus (David Morse) and Robert (Martin Donovan). What audiences get in the pair's story is a story of two men who know each other like brothers. And just as with brothers, the pair have tensions hidden just below the surface that come out when Gus takes Robert hostage after having killed a liquor store clerk.

Part of the reason that this movie doesn't fit nicely into the mold of so many critics is that it comes across ironically like one of writer/director Martin Donovan's own personal works. It takes place within the confines of one set--the home of Robert's mother. Most of the pair's time is spent in the home's living room. Through their discussions, one can infer that having known each other through the better part of each other's lives, there is perhaps some jealousy on the part of Gus toward Robert because of Robert's success. Yet through that jealousy, audiences still see a certain bond between the pair that makes for an intriguing dichotomy. This mix of personalities eventually leads the pair to a final climactic moment that will ultimately leave audiences' completely surprised and shocked by the story's end.

For the drama inside the house, one can't help but laugh at the seeming social commentary on the general public toward instances such as the standoff. Both Gus and Robert's mother sit outside the house waiting the next developments. At times, their mouths hang agape, eyes wide. It represents what so much of the public does at such cases. Perhaps the funniest moment shared outside the house comes when Robert's mother pulls out her asthma inhaler, proceeds to use it and then is offered a cigarette by one of her friends. It's all audiences can do to laugh at the irony. It's one more aspect that makes this underrated and underappreciated story worth at least one watch by anyone that has enough of an open mind.
January 15, 2014
watching this was a powerful experience for me. Thank you.
December 26, 2013
Why is this listed as a comedy?
Dave J
December 11, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

(2012) Collaborator
PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA/ THRILLER

Written, directed and starred by Martin Donovan centering on a situation, he plays screenplay writer Robert Longfellow who upon coming home to visit his mother for reasons unclear. But for the first 30 or 40 minutes into the film Robert revaluate old times including a publicized widowed actress who he still has feelings for. And then his neighbor Gus (David Morse) who lives across the street from him takes him hostage.

I liked the bonding scenes when Robert converses with Gus about how to become a successful screenwriter, but the ending is a real downer which the center character leaves viewers somewhat wanting to know more.

2 out of 4 stars
ElmosLively
August 8, 2013
Fascinating character study, highlighted by strong performances from Martin Donovan and David Morse. Also written and directed by Martin Donovan, it's kind of stagey at times but ultimately quite satisfying.
July 24, 2013
Hm, this movie follows a path the viewer is not expecting, at least I didn't. It wasn't a good choice in my opinion, because in essence, the initial path until that moment, the first half of the movie, was an entertaining and interesting one. The character built-up was short, but effective, and the acting from both main character Robert (Martin Donovan) and loser Gus (David Morse) was very good. The mentioned choice for a no-win stand-off with the police instead of an interesting fling and movie idea with a hollywood hottie was a poor one. Sure, it had it's positive moments as well. For instance, it was at least a concious choice which the movie put all their effort in, leading to good and thought- provoking acting scenes. However, the police stand-off choice predominantly had a negative effect on the films quality. For instance, the many phonecalls that interrupted the whole thing and thereby the lacking the physical contact between those calling characters made it all feel a little fake and made-up. The worst thing: we didn't get to see what kind of relationship Robert had with his old flame or what his family meant to him. Nothing of that anymore, just a hurt wife and worried ex. Having said all that, I really need to say this movie was entertaining and good, just not an exceptional one.
July 6, 2012
A solid, character-based drama that speaks to the disappointments of middle age and mortality in general, Collaborator doesn't let anyone off the hook -- not even the viewer.
July 6, 2012
Dull. Did not finish it.
September 10, 2011
Fresh off the Karlovy Vary prize winning premiere (David Morse won Best Actor, the film won the Critic's Prize), US Festival premieres about to be announced.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

July 9, 2012
After two straight flops on Broadway, playwright Robert Longfellow(Martin Donovan, who also wrote and directed) needs to desperately recharge his batteries. So, he returns home to Los Angeles to visit his mother(Katherine Helmond) while his wife Alice(Melissa Auf der Maur) and two children stay behind. While there, he is hired to do some script doctoring before meeting with Emma(Olivia Williams), an actress and old friend, who has better ideas, not only professionaly but personally. Seeing as how Robert is so busy, it might be understandable how he has not been able to find the time to have a beer with Gus(David Morse), a friend from the neighborhood.

"Collaborator" is a movie that defly defies expectations and cliches by taking a low key approach to the material. The lone exception is a remarkable emotional explosion that one character has kept pent up for decades to thankfully express an opinion which I have also been waiting a long time for somebody else to bring up, even if it has to come from a character who is so smug. Since they were shaped in different ways by the same incident, Robert probably looks at Gus in a 'there but for the grace of you-know-who, go I' kind of way; clues to which are slowly revealed throughout the movie. In other words, Robert cannot escape his past, just as his present is unraveling, despite his success in life.
July 8, 2012
More Hollywood propaganda
June 21, 2012
It is truly rare to come away from a film feeling as if everyone involved made the absolute perfect decision at every step. Too many films are written and crafted in such a way as to serve up cliches and heavy-handed plot twists expected by audiences. It is refreshing to see such a delicate touch here, a writer/director and cast willing to let a very heavy story play itself out through a series of seemingly unrelated, insignificant human interactions. Nothing forced, or spelled out for the audience, just a glimpse into the lives of these men, both suffering in their own way.
May 29, 2012
Hostage drama/comedy written and directed by Martin Donovan and co-starring the under rated and always excellent David Morse
V. Hass
October 22, 2011
A well made/edited film with great performances that starts off a little rocky, but makes up for it with it's intriguing second half.
October 14, 2011
I loved this movie. Saw it at Mill Valley film festival.
Very creative story line and excellent cast.
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