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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SPIDER (2002)

All the hip stylistics David Cronenberg uses to season his pics can’t hide the basically old-fashioned nature of this heavy dose of reheated Freudian character revelation. Ralph Fiennes mumbles incoherently (using the subtitles clears things up, but surely we’re supposed to miss half the words, no?) as a mentally disturbed patient in a halfway house working thru some extremely dense childhood memories. He literally walks around his flashbacks, playing an occasional stand-in role as he removes veil after veil covering a long-buried secret about the death of a parent (Miranda Richardson & Gabriel Byrne are Mom & Dad) and the culpability of . . . whom? Patrick McGrath’s self-adapted novel must have read better than it plays on screen.

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