Some Velvet Morning (2013)
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Critic Reviews for Some Velvet Morning
With Some Velvet Morning, LaBute returns to the provocative style that made his name.
Though LaBute wrote this for the screen, I mistakenly decided that it must have originated onstage... because the oblique, heavily freighted dialogue seems too elegant and artful for a medium dominated by hacks.
A sad example of what sometimes happens when a writer of gripping stage plays controls his own independent movie to his own selfish, labored self-satisfaction.
I came away from this malevolent exercise with the sense that these two add up to little more than the sum of their awfulness.
This smallest of films marks a welcome return to the world of interpersonal miniature for the writer-director. I hope he stays here a while.
Audience Reviews for Some Velvet Morning
Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve bring dynamite to the stage and light it when ready. Their power struggle of verbal abuse to destroy one another makes this a great watch as if it felt it was created for the stage. Those who can't stand a film that features only 2 actors talking in real time in one small location will not gain pleasure. The others who love great dialogue and an interesting character plot will find much to enjoy.
One of the best movies I've seen in a very long time and quite original. Go in with low expectations (rule of thumb for all movies IMO) and you will be drawn into the story b/c you want to know wtf is going to happen at the end - how is the male character going to deal with all of this? You think you know where it's going, then halfway through you think "wait, no - I'm wrong" and then the end...the ending is, well watch and see. It's a short movie, grab some wine and just watch.
Some Velvet Morning is director Neil LaBute's return to form as a provocative filmmaker after some stumbles at mass audience appeal in cinematic stinkers like The Wicker Man and Lakeshore Terrace. LaBute's better films have all been hard to watch because of their difficult subject matter but he has always been good with his actors. In Some Velvet Morning, we have a highly unlikeable married man, Fred (Stanley Tucci - The Devil Wears Prada), who has just left his wife to show up unannounced on the doorstep of a past mistress, Velvet (Alice Eve - Star Trek Into Darkness). Velvet has moved on and is uncertain what to make of this sudden arrival as she has never kidded herself about reality although through the revealing conversation these two have as the movie unfolds (they are its lone cast members), it becomes apparent Fred obsessively has even though he is supposed to be the more respectable, upstanding member of society. Their conversation is demeaning and degrading and spiteful as the angry Fred appears to have little real respect for this woman and parts of the film may be hard to watch -- one part is nearly unwatchable and detestable -- but the strong acting in Some Velvet Morning pulls us through. It is an interesting film about the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves and each other but it is a hard one to recommend as many probably won't even be able to get through it.
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