Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Reilly’

Mary Reilly – Starring Julia Roberts and John Malkovich

Posted by the editors on Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mary Reilly (1996)(DVD)  Directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons (1988), Dirty Pretty Things (2002)), starring Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman (1990), Erin Brockovich (2000), Closer (2004), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)), John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire (1993), Being John Malkovich (1999), Disgrace (2010)), Glenn Close (The Big Chill (1983), Dangerous Liaisons (1988), 101 Dalmatians (1996)) and others, written by Christopher Hampton based on the novel Mary Reilly by Valerie Martin, which is, of course, a parallel novel based on the novella published in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson, entitled Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which since being published has been adapted to film in 1912, 1920, 1931 and 1941, at a minimum.  However interesting the historical pedigree may be, Mary Reilly, the film, was a critical and box-office flop, despite the reputation of the director, Stephen Frears, the screenwriter, Hampton, and the efforts of Roberts, Malkovich and Glenn Close.  In fact, Mary Reilly, the character portrayed by Julia Roberts, or perhaps it is Roberts in her portrayal of the character Mary Reilly, is naively simplistic and sadly shallow.  Glenn Close is seemingly obliged to over-camp her role as Madame of a house of ill repute.  John Malkovich fares somewhat better but is, as well, apparently obliged to stretch a poorly written part into at least a simulacrum of lasciviousness.   In the end, aside from the out of place special effects, perhaps it is Valerie Martin’s novel, or Christopher Hampton’s screenplay which is responsible for this disaster of a film.  Unless, of course, it is the fault of director Stephen Frears.  In any case, Mary Reilly is a film to be avoided, unless one is a truly unconditional fan of Roberts, Malkovich, or split personalities. (PR)

See our posts on the films Closer starring Julia Roberts, and Disgrace starring John Malkovich.

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Disgrace, starring John Malkovich

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Disgrace (2008)(DVD) Directed by Steve Jacobs, starring John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire (1993), Mary Reilly (1996), Being John Malkovich (1999), Burn After Reading (2008)), Jessica Haines and others.  A powerful film, with an excellent screenplay based on the superb 1999 Booker Prize-winning novel of the same name by the gifted South African novelist J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace traces the life and humiliations of a university professor who has been dismissed for sleeping with a student.  A poignant reflection on the extraordinary complexities of post-apartheid South Africa, Disgrace offers Malkovich the opportunity to excel as a thoroughly dislikeable yet magnetic intellectual snob and Jessica Haines, a South African actress, as Malkovich’s character’s forward-looking (at all costs) lesbian daughter, the chance to truly impress: Haines is excellent in the role.  Disgrace is most definitely a must-see film, powerful, complex, very well written, acted and filmed. (There is a certain amount of violence, both seen and implied; it is never gratuitous.) (PR)

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