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Running Time:
90 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for strong sexuality, some violence and brief language.

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Despite the haunting plot and four fine performances, this is a dreary and implausible drama.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Widescreen version enhanced for 16:9 TV's; English subtitles; Dolby Digital- English 5.1 surround, English 2.0 surround



Asylum
Stella Raphael (Natasha Richardson "Maid in Manhattan"), is bored, unhappy, and chafing under the mild but persistent disapproval of her psychiatrist husband (Hugh Bonneville "Stage Beauty") who has a new position at the Psychiatric Hospital. There she meets Edgar Stark (Marton Csokas "The Great Raid"), a dark, handsome, and brooding mental patient assigned to help rebuild the greenhouse in the Raphael backyard on the asylum grounds where they live. When he’s not there, he’s chafing under the watchful eye of his therapist, Dr. Cleave (Ian McKellan "Lord of the Rings"), an expert in sexual psychosis, whose interest in Edgar is more than just professional. This being the early 1960s, no one ever discusses these things. Stella is civil, most of the time, and Cleave is assumed to be married to his work rather than having an unapproved variation on his sexual orientation. As for Edgar, he makes friends with Stella’s son, Charlie (Augustus Jeremiah Lewis) and then asks Stella to dance at the annual Hospital Ball, where patients and doctors mix to big band music and non-alcoholic punch. As they dance, Edgar involuntarily expresses his attraction to Stella, which doesn’t repulse her. A little coy small talk, a bouquet of flowers, and Stella and Edgar are madly in love. But there's little chemistry between the two, and their coupling is graceless and without any particular urgency. Instead, there is a sense that Stella is only rebelling against the suffocation of her existence and Edgar against his confinement. Their passion seems to lead them to do things beyond reason, leaving their subsequent actions beyond comprehension. Richardson, who co-executive produced, is chic and sleek throughout, and just as skittish, but totally lacking depth. Csokas, who was so very charismatic in "The Great Raid", is just sullen and almost al catatonic. McKellan glides through it all sly and slightly dyspeptic. It’s Hugh Bonneville as Stella’s long-suffering husband who, unexpectedly, brings some flesh and blood to this otherwise lifeless drama. Directed by David Mackenzie ("Young Adam") with a screenplay by Patrick Marber ("Closer"), this film is a big disappointment.






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