Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Dying Gaul (2005)

This has been on my list since the SIFF from years back. After watching this, I am in need of some comedic relief. These last three have been weighty and levity is the answer.

The Dying Gaul plays like a chess game with three players engaged in extreme psychic warfare. The background is Hollywood, which makes a lot of what happens seem suitably placed.

Robert (Peter Sarsgaard) is a screenwriter who has recently lost his partner/manager to AIDS. Jeffrey (Campbell Scott) is a film executive salivating over Robert's autobiographical script. He is trying to woo Robert to get the movie made. Robert stands to get paid a mighty buck; the caveat is that he must change his script to remove the gay theme and make the story heterosexual. This quandary gets settled relatively easily (again, Hollywood-sell-your-soul style).

In the meantime, an odd triangle forms between Robert, Jeff and Jeff's wife, Elaine (Patricia Clarkson). Elaine is quite curious about Robert. As a former screenplay writer, she reads his script and falls in love with it and perhaps that ignites her curiosity about Robert. Through her Internet stalking, Elaine learns something that threatens to destroy her marriage and seemingly happy life with Jeff and their kids. The ending is chaotic and culminates in TRAGEDY.

Director: Craig Lucas

Country: US

Genre: Drama

Minutes: 100 minutes

Scale: 3

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