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LaBute's latest, Some Velvet Morning, was written for the screen, but it might as well be a theatrical exercise. I came away from this malevolent exercise with the sense that these two add up to little more than the sum of their awfulness. It's all transactional. By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy This is all thanks to an enraging story and performances by both Tucci and Eve which surely get you into their characters quick. What I didn't expect was a GREAT film. Fine acting aside, this is a story that should have remained untold. Fred (Stanley Tucci) arrives at the doorstep of his beautiful young mistress Velvet (Alice Eve) after four years apart, claiming to have finally left his wife. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here. The ultimate news source for music, celebrity, entertainment, movies, and current events on the web. Some might view the end as a cruel prank at the expense of moviegoers while others might consider it a cop-out, but perhaps the point of it all is that we should not rush to judgment when it comes to Mr. LaBute's theater of cruelty. This cliché ridden film is a staggering disappointment: a morally offensive, done-on-the-cheap movie with a lifeless single location. One revelation leads to another, as well as the expected sexual confrontation, but then there's a moment of gentility, of grown-up understanding, and even, well, tenderness of a weird order. Before too long, a dark history between the two has come into focus. LaBute is back to being his black-hearted self once more. Unsettling and unforgettable Fred arrives at the doorstep of his beautiful young mistress Velvet after four years apart, claiming to have finally left his wife. Wow. (She’s previously stood out in supporting parts in films including "Starter for 10" and "Star Trek Into Darkness."). All rights reserved. Running time: 83 minutes. It's a tantalising walk on the dark side and LaBute is the ultimate manipulator: I was enthralled, repulsed and intrigued, often feeling like a voyeur peering into a labyrinth of intimacies. Not rated (language, violence, sex). Eve's constant evolution makes her fascinating to watch, and she more than holds her own opposite the veteran Tucci. And eventually getting physical with each other. Never mind that Fred and Velvet haven't been romantically involved for about four years, and that things ended badly. There is that horrible climax and then the ridiculous twist that makes you go, oh, this was an even bigger waste of time than I already thought it was. These are people who are in love with language; they choose their words carefully for maximum effect and even sprout off into side conversations about the specifics of certain phrasing. Some Velvet Morning is at best a missed opportunity and mercifully, a short one. It's pop culture on steroids. Read full review Share Tweet Submit Pin. Some Velvet Morning plays perfectly to the sexual mystique that Hazlewood and Sinatra established. With Some Velvet Morning, LaBute returns to the provocative style that made his name. I couldn't have been caught more off-guard. When the movie begins, these two characters are blank slates that the … He never disappoints. Christy Lemire is a co-host of the YouTube film review show "What the Flick?!" Some Velvet Morning (470) IMDb 5.8 1h 23min 2013 Stanley Tucci stars as a man who surprises his former mistress (Alice Eve, STAR TREK INTO DARKESS), claiming to have left his wife. Some Velvet Morning: Movie review. LaBute lets his characters reveal themselves in drips and drabs as they get reacquainted and rehash what went wrong in their relationship. ... Movies Reviews Velvet Morning. We are not responsible for its content. Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password. The only reason why I gave this movie a chance was because of Stanley Tucci, who usually makes good movies, and after seeing this film, … Desire, love? In all his character's forms, Tucci remains vibrant and unpredictable—intimidating, even, despite his slight stature. by J.R. Jones; Dec 18, 2013 I knew before watching 'Some Velvet Morning' that it would be a good film because Stanley Tucci stars. It’s difficult to discuss “ Some Velvet Morning,” the latest movie from Neil LaBute, without giving away too much. Some Velvet Morning Synopsis. This dark and dismal psychological exercise features two winning performances in a film that warrants excited discussion after its closing frames. Movie review Some Velvet Morning. In such a scenario, the casting and chemistry of the actors are As they fumble to form a civilized conversation, they misread each other's signals and tell bad jokes that fall flat. This smallest of films marks a welcome return to the world of interpersonal miniature for the writer-director. ET Dec. 26, 2013 Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci in a scene from the film “Some Velvet Morning.” and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. The look of Some Velvet Morning remains clean and flat, the decor [is] mostly hotel-room neutral. Despite the lack of action involved with two people having one long conversation, the film is somehow completely hypnotic. Some final contextual cues hint that we shouldn't be so sure and suggest that Labute has something to say about ends justifying means. 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. Visions of Friendship: Michael Angelo Covino and Kyle Marvin on The Climb, The Lynchian Aspirations of Losing Alice Underwhelm Rather Than Intrigue, CW Reboots Walker but Forgets to Give Him a Personality, Something as Extraordinary as Birth Itself: Kornél Mundruczó and Kata Wéber on Pieces of a Woman. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer. "Some Velvet Morning" is a song written by Lee Hazlewood and originally recorded by Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra in late 1967. The film might have worked if Fred’s cluelessness were meant to be ironic, and if there were a sense of real give and take between the characters (as there was in the similarly themed Two Girls and a Guy), but Some Velvet Morning is a rigged game—another La Bute monologue disguised as a dialogue. Sydney Morning Herald August 4, 2014 The look of Some Velvet Morning remains clean and flat, the decor [is] mostly hotel-room neutral. Fred and Velvet’s battle builds to a painful crescendo, but it’s not the last word on their relationship. Movie reviews: 'Some Velvet Morning,' 'The Crash Reel' By Joe Neumaier. But when she rejects his attempts to rekindle their romance, his persistence evolves into obsession, and a dark history between the former lovers comes into focus. LaBute has always been fond of the last-second rug-pull that re-contextualizes everything, but Some Velvet Morning’s climactic revelation is distinct from those of his previous films in a specific, intriguing way, one that trades brutality for something more poignant. Review: What a strange but we'll made movie which is based around a conversation between 2 people, about there relationship. Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve waste their time and ours in a dreadful, boring two-hander about a man who leaves his wife for his much younger mistress. Some Velvet Morning is like a 90 minute ticking time-bomb that’s ready to explode at any moment, and in the end it does detonate. 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. The film received mixed reviews upon release, with Jason Di Rosso from ABC Australia saying that the audience was "treated with utter contempt by the director and his accomplices". It's a slow burn but the tension is undeniable from the start; these two people are definitely not on the same page, and watching the balance of power teeter back and forth between them is riveting. Christy reviewed films for The Associated Press for over 14 years. She's also on Twitter @christylemire and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christy.lemire2. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer. Some Velvet Morning is the type of film which makes you yell at the screen and get frustrated to the point you want to jump into the movie and do something. If not longer. They play beautifully off each other, even as (or perhaps especially when) they're hurling ugly sentiments back and forth. By Robert Levin. Sign up here. Don't have an account? It features two actors in an enclosed setting—a tastefully decorated New York brownstone—doing nothing but talking in real time over the course of 82 minutes. Did you see ''Some Velvet Morning''? Aside from the awkwardness of their first few moments together, Fred and Velvet endure an emotional roller coaster and they drag us along for the ride. That foray into mediocrity with "Lakeview Terrace" and outright oddity with his remake of "The Wicker Man" seems to have been a blip in retrospect. It helps that LaBute has actors as formidable as Tucci and Eve. The major visual idea is to have Eve's red dress and lipstick stand out against a monochromatic backdrop: effective in itself, but not enough. Her classic good looks and pleasant demeanor suggest a softness to her femininity, but in time she proves she's both quick-witted and quick-tempered. The fact that LaBute shoots their conversations in long, single takes, often from a hallway or another room, adds to the sensation that we're eavesdropping on them. "Some Velvet Morning" is not based on one of his stage productions, as crucial, and Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve more than rise to the formidable challenge. Velvet, meanwhile, is the cool and confident icy blonde in the great Hitchcockian tradition. Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve in ‘Some Velvet Morning’ The realistic conversation, almost reminiscent of a David Mamet play in style, was not always pretty or comfortable to watch, but seems to be LaBute’s signature. Now, with “Some Velvet Morning,” we have the cynical, chauvinist, male character back as the lead. Movie review: ‘Some Velvet Morning’ — 2 stars. Fred alternates between being needy and condescending. Summary: Fred (Stanley Tucci) arrives at the doorstep of his beautiful young mistress Velvet (Alice Eve) after four years apart, claiming to have finally left his wife. Copyright © Fandango. I think my jaw is still on the floor somewhere. Neil LaBute’s latest film, Some Velvet Morning, is a wild and sometimes shocking ride, starring Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and … Eventually, pent-up resentments bubble to the surface. And bickering. If only the journey to that destination were a bit more flavorful. Lee was aware was of this and later said: “We were accused of doing a lot more than just singing, so we decided well, hell, we might as well play it up.” Some Velvet Morning review: Stanley Tucci lacks sexual menace This film, like the song from which it takes its name, involves a man, a woman, and a certain amount of erotic ambiguity. But that description makes "Some Velvet Morning" seem uptight, and it’s anything but that. And flirting. Forgot your password? Please … It first appeared on Sinatra's album Movin' with Nancy, the soundtrack to her 1967 television special of the same name, which also featured a performance of the song. It features two actors in an enclosed setting—a tastefully decorated New York brownstone—doing nothing but talking in real time over the course of 82 minutes. LaBute wisely lets a lot of individual moments in Some Velvet Morning play out in long takes, giving the actors the time and space to build the scene. You'll want to watch the film again immediately, and it will rattle around in your head for hours. LaBute lulls us with a long establishing shot during the opening titles: a slightly blurry overhead look at Eve lounging on a couch in a bright red dress, listening to music on her headphones. You can find Christy's writing at ChristyLemire.com. At the City Cinemas Village East, Second Avenue near 12th Street. Time Out says. Neil LaBute’s 1997 debut film In … 0. comments. Note: The movie review posted on this page reflects a personal opinion of one user. Now they can finally be together, he insists happily—and whether Velvet actually wants that, or ever wanted that, is at the heart of the debate over the rest of the film. Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! Anyone game to watch two effortlessly volatile and vulnerable performers trade barbs for 83 minutes ought to give this due consideration. The trouble with "Some Velvet Morning" is that it’s impossible to discuss why it's so powerful without giving away much about the very revelations and plot twists that help make it so. Some Velvet Morning: Mum's the word For once our movie critic manages to keep his trap shut. LaBute may not be saying anything novel about constricting gender roles and the cynical ways in which we sell ourselves out, but he is saying it in his signature, provocative style. But when she rejects his attempts to rekindle their romance, his persistence evolves into obsession — and a … But when she rejects his attempts to rekindle their romance, … Some Velvet Morning is absorbing and enraging, sure to spark debate both about its meaning and its method. and the Terms and Policies, While Some Velvet Morning was not written for the stage, it may as well have been. "Some Velvet Morning" is not based on one of his stage productions, as some of his best-known movies have been, but rather feels like a play on film. Really. Highly intriguing and verbally thrilling. The absolute ending of "Some Velvet Morning" is a stunner, one that is sure to irk and awe viewers in equal measure (I’m in the latter camp). 1 out of 5 stars. He can be affectionate as well as passive-aggressive. At his most brutish, he’s misogynistic and crassly forward in his sexual remarks (shocking coming from a LaBute film, right?). There is a problem with your e-mail address and we are unable to communicate with you. NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | Dec 12, 2013 at 1:23 PM . The twist at the end will be a slap in the face to some and will undoubtedly spawn debates. It was subsequently released as a single before appearing on the 1968 album, Nancy & Lee. This is by design. Film, Drama. Movie Review | ‘Some Velvet Morning’ LCJ Published 12:12 a.m. That’s good news for fans of his earlier work, like “In the Company of Men” and "The Shape of Things," and bad news for people who like their films filled with hope and redemption. Posted on December 12, 2013. 1 out of 5 stars. We can say this: It represents a return to the kind of writing and filmmaking with which Neil LaBute made his name. Fred says he's finally left his wife of 24 years for Eve's Velvet (a name we learn is not really hers, and one she detests), a much younger Brit with whom he’d had an affair. some of his best-known movies have been, but rather feels like a play on film. Her reverie (and ours) comes to an abrupt end with the arrival of an unexpected visitor at her front door: Tucci’s expensively dressed Fred, an attorney who has shown up unannounced with whatever belongings he could stuff into his suitcases. She can be brutal as she brandishes hidden secrets like weapons. 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