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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Married Life (2008)

Set in 1949, a businessman (Chris Cooper) in a seemingly happy marriage wants to leave his wife (Patricia Clarkson) for a younger woman (Rachel McAdams) but he doesn't want to hurt her since she is so dependent on him ... or so he thinks. But is murder an act of kindness? And watch out for the best friend (Pierce Brosnan) who is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Based on the novel FIVE ROUNDABOUTS TO HEAVEN by John Bingham and directed by Ira Sachs, who also co-wrote the screenplay. This is a wonderful movie! Darkly and subtly comic with some keen psychological observations on marriage. It has the feel of a Hitchcock production (the novel, in fact, was adapted for a 1962 episode of his TV series), DIAL M FOR MURDER comes to mind. But the film is more concerned with a wry scrutiny of the state of marriage than suspense. Four different endings were shot for the film and I think they went for the right one. The others depended on a weak episode of irony. The acting, especially Cooper who's wonderful here, is excellent. There's a nice underscore by Dickon Hinchiffe and the period art direction and production design by Hugo Luczyc Wyhowski and Carol Lavallee respectively is impeccable.

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