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Friday, May 24, 2013

The Letter (2012)

A playwright (Winona Ryder) is directing a workshop production of her new play. When a new actor (James Franco) joins the company, he acts as a catalyst to her mental and emotional breakdown when she begins to have dreams, hallucinations and feelings of paranoia. But is her paranoia justified? This is one of those films that tries to continually keep you off balance regarding reality and delusions so that you're never sure which is which. It's an honorable attempt but it comes off as a pretentious imitation of a David Lynch or Terence Malick film. It can't even remain faithful to its concept so when at the end we get a "logical" explanation of the events, it's as condescending as the psychiatrist's explanation at the end of PSYCHO. Still, it's nice to see Winona Ryder in a leading role even if she can't overcome the film's shortcomings. Directed by Jay Anania, who apparently was one of James Franco's teachers at New York University which explains his presence. With Josh Hamilton and Marin Ireland.

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