"Thus open the gates of paradise."

In this issue

The Winslow Boy

06 Apr 2002

"I love David Mamet films."

"But he repeats the all the dialog twice!"

Oh, I suppose so. You want to fight about it? I'll see you outside. Go ahead; I'll be there in a minute.

Rebecca Pidgeon

Rebecca Pidgeon. Didn't she wear that
hat in "The Spanish Prisoner?"
PHOTO: Sony Pictures.

I think Mamet is in his element when he's running a scam. Remember "Things Change", "Wag The Dog", or "The Spanish Prisoner"? Good fun, all of them. "The Winslow Boy" charts some different territory, the story about a man's efforts to have his son's name cleared, believing him to be wrongly accused of theft. Nigel Hawthorn plays the Man, Gemma Jones his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon his daughter, and Jeremy Northam their lawyer and member of parliament. Again. Didn't he just do that in "An Ideal Husband"? Sure he's good at it, but I hate to see talent wasted. The performances are all quite passable, although where Pidgeon's flat style was perfect for "Spanish Prisoner", it seems out of place here.

I missed the pace of dialog that was virtually a character unto itself in earlier films like "American Buffalo" or "Glengarry Glen Ross". I saw "American Buffalo" (said "BOO-falo", I'm sure) with my friend Dave when it played at the Toronto Film Fest a couple years ago, and coming it, it was very easy to continue speaking in the same cadences as the film dialog, which was great fun. In contrast, coming out of "The Winslow Boy" with a different friend named David, my thought was: maybe directors shouldn't direct their own wives.

"And he repeats the all the dialog twice!"

Yeah, yeah.

Related Sites

The Winslow Boy Official Site
The Winslow Boy on the IMDB