Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Multiple Sarcasms (DVD Review)

Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Dir: Brooks Branch - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Timothy Hutton, Mira Sorvino, Dana Delany, Laila Robins, India Ennega, Mario Van Peebles, Stockard Channing
USA, 2010

Reason to see: Look at that cast! I was sold at Timothy Hutton, Mira Sorvino & Stockard Channing.

In Multiple Sarcasms, Timothy Hutton stars as Gabriel an architect that wants to be a playwright and expresses his non-enthusiasm of his own life through the with this idea of writing a play about his own life. The temptation that comes to the forefront here is how honest do you go? Where you change your original choices to something new? What would that look like? How would that change, or would it even change your life?

Although Gabriel is the clear protagonist, he is very firmly positioned in his family and in being a father and husband. That positions the film exactly where it wants to be, as a family drama that explores these relationships and as Gabriel deals with his life. The film is set in 1979, but has a very current day viewpoint and sensibility, and with the exception of Mario Van Peebles glorious afro & outfits could easily be taken for a current day set film. This works though, making it more accessible and I'd suspect that this is intentional as speaks to a timeless journey of finding oneself through exploring life through are, in this case writing.

I was surprized at how female-centric the film is for having a male protagonist, although he is completely surrounded by the women in his life from his wife, to his daughter, to his best friend and to his agent. This is a very unusual point of view to see in film and it continued to take me by surprize throughout the film, but by happy surprize as this is something so unusual to see in film and I wouldn't mind seeing aspect of it in other films. I also really enjoyed seeing the actors play off each other, in particular Timothy Hutton who was lovely with both Mira Sorvino and India Ennega. I also would have loved to have seen more of both Mario Van Peebles and Stockard Channing, whom are both great when they are on screen.

DVD Extras:
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette (8 minutes) - interview response style commentary from director Brooks Branch and actors Stockard Channing, Timothy Hutton, Dana Delany, Laila Robins, India Ennega and Mario Van Peebles on the story, their characters, what makes the film different from a lot of the film out there and the relatability of the film. A fair amount of the footage is also shows in the interview special features.
  • Interviews (34 minutes) - interviews with director Brooks Branch and actors Timothy Hutton (Gabriel), Stockard Channing (Pamela), Mario Van Peebles (Rocky), Laila Robins (Lauren), India Ennega (Elizabeth) and Dana Delany (Annie). Quite extensive interviews with director and cast on their characters, the film as an homage to relationship films of the 70's, the films New York City setting, casting, characters and when applicable, what they were doing in 1979. The Mario Van Peebles interview is especially entertaining and stands out.
  • Trailer

Multiple Sarcasms is available on DVD as of August 10, 2010. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I think I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it fans of relationship based dramas

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010

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