“The Seagull”–movie review   Leave a comment

Annette Bening is one of those actors who will always draw me to a film while I am enjoying watching Saorise Ronan’s career and where it is going. Mare Winningham, Brian Dennehy and Elisabeth Moss are dependable actors always doing good work so adding these factors together I decided to go see “The Seagull” instead of “Adrift” which only had the appeal of Shailene Woodley.

I’ve seen some of Chekhov’s plays many years ago but never particularly liked or disliked him and this movie, with a screenplay by Stephen Karam, doesn’t sway me one way or another.

For a story about lovers, there is very little love. Irina (Annette Bening) a celebrated, insecure, jealous actress is in love with the much younger successful writer Boris (Corey Stoll) who falls in love with Nina (Saoirse Ronan) a want to be actress much younger than he is and has a budding writer, Konstatin (Billy Howle), Irina’s son, who, by the way, is in love with Nina and in turn he is loved by Marsha (Elisabeth Moss), a secret drinker, who is loved by schoolteacher Medvedenko (Michael Zegen). Did I miss anyone? Oh yes, Polina, (Mare Winningham) who runs the house and is married to Shamrayev (Glenn Fleshler) but is in love with Doctor Dorn (Jon Tenney) who is taking care of Sorin (Brian Dennehy) who is dying and is Irina’s brother.

“The Seagull” runs 99 minutes and that’s a lot of people and stories to cover and many are shortchanged but most have a minute or two, some more, to show what an actor can do with the time they are given. The most striking scenes are the ones between Annette Bening and Corey Stoll during a lover’s quarrel and another between her and Billy Howle as she attacks her son and yet holds the audience’s sympathy. Both Winningham and Moss get their moment with the former declaring her love for the doctor and the latter explaining why she drinks and is ‘mourning’ for the life she will lead. Brian Dennehy has a striking scene with Bening as he hits her where her insecurities lie. Bening and Stoll are the standouts of the cast while Howle is too ‘modern’ to fit in with the rest, going overboard in most of his scenes.

“The Seagull” is shorter than most films are today and, yet, seems longer as it tries to cover too much, too many personalities. Though you will do a lot worse than seeing acting of this caliber bringing their A game, I really can’t say yes to this film for an introduction to Chekhov and it might be cut too bare for those who are familiar with his play.

Movie Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynGnOf0scl8

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Posted June 5, 2018 by greatmartin in ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIE REVIEW, Uncategorized

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