Saturday, August 7, 2010



Michael Douglas: former car salesman 60-year-old “Honest Ben Kalman”
Susan Sarandon: Ben’s ex-wife Nancy, a real estate agent
Mary Louise Parker: Ben’s current girlfriend rich socialite Jordan Karsch
Imogen Poots: Jordan’s 18-year-old daughter Allyson
Jenna Fischer: Ben’s married daughter Susan Porter
David Costabile: Susan’s husband Gary
Danny DeVito: Ben’s long time friend and restaurant owner Jimmy Marino
Jesse Eisenberg: college student Daniel Cheston

Perfectly typecast, this is one of Douglas’ finest performances (not that he has not had others) and one of the best by DeVito. These two polished professionals on their own make it worthwhile viewing. Although they have minor roles, the excellent acting by Sarandon and Eisenberg is a real bonus.

As a character study of Ben you don’t have to love him or what he stands for but you do begin to understand why he’s a solitary man.

Unusual for most movies is the soundtrack, or absence of one: apart from the title song during the opening credits there is not a lot of music. Instead we hear ambient sounds and often just silence.

Another aspect of filmmaking that does not follow the norm are the many long takes rather than the short snippets and quick scene changes so often employed. How refreshing to see and hear something different for a change.

for language and some sexual content.

Ben tosses a table napkin casually over his shoulder while talking outside the restaurant. From one scene to the next it changes from neatly folded to more spread out.

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