The Tenants (2006)
Harry Lesser, a Jewish-American writer who is the last remaining tenant in an abandoned New York apartment building, is desperately trying to finish his novel. One day he discovers he is not alone. African-American writer, Willie Spearmint is using the space to come to terms with his 'violent and socially-oppressed' past through his work. The two men come to an uneasy peace, living in the building and working with and against each other as they pursue finishing their novels. As distrust grows between them, the uneasy friendship falls to the wayside, replaced by jealousy, rage and violence. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Tenants
Alternately tedious and bombastic, the film never achieves a consistent tone, and the characters and situations, while seemingly played on a realistic level, are neither remotely credible nor satisfyingly surreal.
Snoop Dogg and Bernard Malamud don't often pop up in the same sentence, but they make an effective combination in a quiet little indie called The Tenants.
The message about race relations in America conveyed by this choppy and psychologically cauterized screen adaptation of Bernard Malamud's 1971 novel is dire.
The stage is set for a full-scale racial conflict, but neither actor is really up to the task.
There's something about the no-exit, zero-sum logic of the film's rivalry that makes this dingy, grim little indie hard to look away from.
The stripped-down production looks more like a play than a movie, but all the actors do a decent job with a script which turns increasingly preposterous at every turn.
The Tenants ranges from one-set character piece to race-centric speech-making to Cinemax style bedroom dealings... Well, at least it's not boring.
...a good try from a first-time director that never quite hits the mark.
[Snoop] and McDermot have a weird chemistry together and fascinating to watch.
Danny Green's adaptation of Bernard Malamud's earnest 1971 novel about art and the clash between black and white feels about as anachronistic as the New York City rents cited in the film.
Middle-class Jewish liberal Lesser befriends semi-homeless African-American Spearmint, and from the moment their tenuous relationship begins, you know there's going to be trouble.
This film version of 'The Tenants'is a disservice to author Bernard Malamud as well as to the audience.
For a hip-hop icon defined by his own cartoonish gangsta-pimp persona, Snoop Dogg nonetheless turns out to be the most genuine presence in The Tenants.
Audience Reviews for The Tenants
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Tenants", it is 1972 when Harry Lesser(Dylan McDermott) is writing his third novel in a tenement in Brooklyn where he is the sole remaining tenant, hoping to regain the form of his successful first novel, when he hears another typewriter down the hall. There, he discovers Willie Spearmint(Snoop Dogg) writing a book of his own. The two become friends and Willie asks Harry to read his manuscript and tell him what he thinks.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Tenants" nails the solitary obsessiveness of writers perfectly but in other areas the movie is less than a success, especially in missing a prime opportunity to explore race relations. Willie is by far the more interesting character, with experiences that are only hinted at, whereas Lesser is the more polished writer. In short, what could have made for an intriguing movie falls dramatically flat, and a bland Dylan McDermott does not help.[/font]
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