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  Comfort of Strangers, The The Canal-ity of EvilBuy this film here.
Year: 1990
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, Christopher Walken, Helen Mirren
Genre: Drama, Sex
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: An English couple (Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson) holiday in Venice, planning to rekindle their relationship, only to head for trouble when they become friendly with another couple (Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren) who stay there.

Harold Pinter scripted Ian McEwan's novel for director Paul Schrader's adaptation. Everett and Richardson play a posh, bland couple, which makes their descent into the hands of evil oddly entertaining. This is a cool, languidly-paced film, but its cruelty makes it interesting. An exceedingly well-cast Walken appears in less than half of the film, but his sinister presence is felt throughout; as his wife, Mirren plays the most disturbing character, however.

The Venice locations lend an air of old world decadence to proceedings, and particularly to Walken and Mirren's sado-masochistic duo. How much you enjoy this film may depend on how soon you realise that not that much actually happens, but there's an inexorable menace to the atmosphere which holds it together. Music by Angelo Badalamenti. There is only one word for thighs, isn't there?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Paul Schrader  (1946 - )

American writer and director, a former critic, who specialises in troubled souls. After writing Taxi Driver for Martin Scorcese (who has also filmed Schrader's Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead) he made his directorial debut with Blue Collar. Although this was not a happy experience, he was not discouraged, and went on to give us Hardcore, American Gigolo, a remake of Cat People, Mishima, The Comfort of Strangers, Light Sleeper, Affliction, Auto Focus and a doomed Exorcist sequel. After the latter his output became troubled in films like The Canyons or Dying of the Light. He also scripted The Yakuza and Old Boyfriends with his brother Leonard Schrader.

 
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