Sunday, May 29, 2011

Home Video with Abe: Solitary Man (Capsule Review)

Solitary Man
Directed by Brian Koppelman & David Levien
Released May 21, 2010

Last year, Michael Douglas returned to the big screen to reprise his role as classic character Gordon Gekko. It turns out that Gekko wasn’t the only power-hungry, ally-alienating personality that Douglas played in 2010. “Solitary Man,” which is available via Netflix Instant Streaming, is the story of Ben Kalmen, a car dealer whose unscrupulous business practices and promiscuous ways have distanced him from anyone he might previously have called his friends. It’s a lonely tale of a man who has made mistakes and refuses to acknowledge them, destined to repeat his errors until he learns his lesson. It’s a decently familiar but equally engaging drama with enough light moments to make it bearable, with a number of fine performances in it. Douglas could play this part in his sleep, and he doesn’t require any support to guide the film. No other actor has near as prominent a role, but they all play their bit parts to great effect, including Danny DeVito, Mary-Louise Parker, Susan Sarandon, Richard Schiff, Anastasia Griffith, David Costabile, and Jesse Eisenberg. Jenna Fischer, who plays Ben’s daughter, needs better and more sophisticated movie roles. This film isn’t a must-see, but it’s a worthwhile and strong drama.


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