The affected clipped cadences of Mamet-ese reverberate throughout Edmond, Stuart Gordon’s adaptation of the playwright’s 1982 one-act play about a discontented shlub (William H. Macy’s Edmond) who embarks on a violent nocturnal odyssey through an unidentified urban hellhole. Abandoning the wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) he can no longer stand, Edmond shuffles along from bars to diners to sex clubs, the articulation of his long-suppressed bigotry functioning as a liberating refutation of his stultifying well-off life. As embodied by an excellent Macy, this unhappy and increasingly incensed everyman finds catharsis via confronting and embracing his deepest fears, with Mamet – especially in Edmond’s bloody encounter with an African-American pimp – ambiguously positing his protagonist’s racism as both semi-justified on the one hand, and a disgusting self-fulfilling prophesy on the other. A cast of well-knowns (Julia Stiles, Denise Richards, Debi Mazar, Mena Suvari, George Wendt and Mamet regular Joe Mantegna) brings a touch of depth to otherwise schematically drawn low-life roles. Yet despite Gordon’s succinct direction, Edmond fails to offer any insight into its main character’s motivations, his driving anger and resentment so generalized – and the overriding moral about how racism lurks within all of us so unconvincing – that the film never truly resonates as a revelatory portrait of humanity’s darkest anxieties and ugliest prejudices.
I found the whole film repungant. It just seemed to reinforce stereotypes, racism, sexism and homophobia without any kind of analysis or imagination. I was just revolted. It was a worthless film.
Posted by: abbie | July 16, 2006 at 12:20 AM