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Edmond (DQ)


Stars: William H Macy, Julia Stiles, Joe Mantegna, Rebecca Pidgeon

Director: Stuart Gordon

An eye-opener to the underbelly of American city life, this is a nasty piece of work about a nasty piece of work, businessman Edmond (Macy) who, fed up with his job and his marriage, walks out on his wife (Pidgeon) and into the night.

After meeting a man (Mantegna) in a bar, who echoes his own racist, homophobic and misogynistical beliefs, Edmond drifts through the city backstreets, looking to 'get laid'. Refusing to pay exorbitant prices for bar drinks at a strip club and to a high-class hooker (Mena Suvari), Edmond storms out of a peep show when he finds he can't touch the girl (Bai Ling). He's then lured into a three-card trick, and beaten up when he suggests he's been cheated (he hasn't).

Pawning his wedding ring, Edmond buys a World War One soldier's knife. Foolishly following a man who offers him a girl, then tries to mug him, Edmond slices up his attacker savagely with the knife. With blood on his shirt, he staggers into a cocktail bar. It beggars belief that the waitress (Stiles) there would take him back to her flat for sex, but she does, and more violence erupts.

The actors do their best with David Mamet's graphic, hard-cursing dialogue, but this is certainly a less persuasive portrait of a man's crack-up than, say, Michael Douglas's in Falling Down. Macy is great as always, but this is not for the squeamish or easily offended.

David Quinlan

USA 2005. UK Distributor: Tartan. Colour by CFI.
82 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 02 Jul 2007