The Merry Gentleman

"Good"

The Merry Gentleman Review


Moody and thoughtful, this quiet character study is extremely beautiful to look at and features some superbly understated performances. But it moves at such a slow pace that most viewers will find it difficult to stick around until the end.

Frank (Keaton) and Kate (Macdonald) see each other before they meet. He's a hitman on top of a building, efficiently going about his grisly business; she's a lively office worker still recovering after running away from her abusive husband (Cannavale). They meet later, in a cute Christmas sort of way, and strike up a warm and wary friendship. Both aren't so much lonely as alone.

Although Kate has a new friend (Hunt) at the office and has attracted the attentions of the cop (Bastounes) investigating who she saw on that rooftop.

And that's about it. The film has a very gentle rhythm to it that never shifts up a gear. It's a meandering look at two people who seem to have nothing in common but have somehow managed to save each others' lives. Of course, the title is an ironic reference to the Christmas carol, and Keaton plays Frank as an enigma, finding a remarkable stillness in every scene. Macdonald has a kind of stillness too, except that we can see her emotional core churning through every scene. Both performances are graceful and moving.

And as the film silently follows these two very private people, it achieves a kind of elegant soulfulness, even tough it seems to be progressing in slow motion. There's a heavy whiff of fatalism involved in Lazzeretti's minimalist plot and chit-chat dialog, which lends itself nicely to Keaton's dark, brooding direction and creepy overtones that hint at a thriller that seems to be taking place off-screen.

Because behind these reticent people are lives that hint at violence and suicidal tendencies. But both also have an almost reluctant will to survive.

The film is strong enough to bring all of this out with an intelligence that's never remotely pretentious. And for two rather uninteresting people, we do find ourselves interested in who they really are and where they're going from here.



The Merry Gentleman

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th December 2009

Box Office USA: $0.3M

Distributed by: IDP/Samuel goldwyn Films

Production compaines: Jackson Income Fund, Merry Gentleman, South Water Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 47 Rotten: 27

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Steven A. Jones

Starring: as Frank Logan, as Kate Frazier, Tom Bastounes as Dave Murcheson, Mike Bradecich as Jerry, Debbi Burns as Office Worker at Christmas Party, Maritza Cabrera as Restaurant Patron, as Michael, Esther Claire as Restaurant Patron, as Mr. Weiss

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.