To say that human relationships are complicated is an understatement.
In the new film, The Seagull, based on the Anton Chekhov play of the same name, Irina (Annette Bening) is an aging actress whose current significant other is Boris (Corey Stoll), a younger writer who is one of the most recognized writers in the country. Irina takes Boris to meet her brother, Sorin (Brian Dennehy), who lives on a country estate and is in poor health. Irina’s son, Konstantin (Billy Howle) lives with his uncle and wants to be a playwright. He is also in a relationship with Nina (Saoirse Ronan), a young girl from a neighboring estate. Nina develops a girlish infatuation for Boris, but he rejects her as Irina rejects her son.
I know nothing about Chekhov or his work. My review, therefore, is strictly based on the movie. The reason for seeing the movie was the cast. The problem with this movie is that while the cast is excellent, the narrative is slow and I found it hard to connect to the story.
Do I recommend it? Not really.
A long time ago, Billy Joel wrote “Only The Good Die Young”.
He should have said only the great die young.
James Dean, Natalie Wood, River Pheonix, Heath Ledger, James Gandolfini.
Sometimes the greatest talents aren’t destined to die of old age. They die well before that, when they are still at the peak of their greatness.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman‘s name can now be added to this list.
He died this morning of an apparent drug overdose.
I saw him in the most recent revival of Arthur Miller’s classic play, Death Of A Salesman. While he was a few decades younger than the character and Brian Dennehy, who had played the character in the previous revival, it felt like I was seeing this play and introduced to this character for the first time.
His Willy Loman was a man of big dreams, caught between the past and the present, between dreams and reality. It was an incredibly powerful performance. I wish I had seen it more than once.
My heart and my prayers go out to his friends and family.
While he is gone from this world, his work and his legacy will remain.