The Designated Mourner

Weekly Alibi


REVIEWED: 07-02-97

This odd little BBC drama is based on the stage play by Wallace Shawn (who also gave us My Dinner With Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street). With that sort of pedigree, what could you expect but a bunch of people sitting around yammering for a couple hours? Sure enough, this film consists entirely of three people (Mike Nichols, Miranda Richardson and David de Keyser) sitting at a table in an otherwise empty room reciting dialogue from the play. The dialogue is such that it doesn't even allow interaction between the characters. The characters simply read off long monologues about each other. I suppose this sort of thing works occasionally on stage, but it's about as aggressively uncinematic as you can get.

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