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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Collection (1976)

An older man (Laurence Olivier) lives with a much younger man (Malcolm McDowell) who may or may not be his lover. The younger man is accosted by a stranger (Alan Bates) who accuses him of having an affair with his wife (Helen Mirren). But did they? When so much lies abound, how can you tell the truth? The plays of Harold Pinter are an acquired taste. So much of what is being said sounds trivial yet the dialog is rife with ambiguity and unspoken implications. This is a fascinating piece as the four characters dance around each other and clearly so much more is going on than is spoken about. And is what is finally revealed the truth or a lie that the characters want to believe is the truth because it's easier for everybody. McDowell and Mirren play their character's feelings close to the chest while Olivier and Bates spill forth their pain. Fine writing, excellent performances and perceptive direction by Michael Apted (COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER). 

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