An accommodating middle-aged businessman evolves from meek pushover to dangerous sociopath over the course of one night in this scorching collaboration between the writer of Glengarry Glen Ross and the director of Re-Animator. Karma comes to roost one evening when Edmond Burke (William H. Macy) has his fortune read on the way home from another disconnected day at the office. He finds it difficult to disagree when the cards reveal that he is not where he should be. Edmond goes home and immediately leaves his wife. Unfazed by the pain he just caused to his once-loved one, he immediately heads out to New York’s red-light district in a desperate search for new experiences, determined to begin living life for himself. Any further plot synopsis would quickly sink into an ocean of spoilers but, suffice it to say, you will be shocked by where this film goes.
Shot on a tight budget (its star-studded cast dropped their salaries to scale in order to be involved), Edmond is an anomaly among the current crop of high profile U.S. indies. Undiluted by calculated hipness, it is a violent film, both physically and emotionally, boiling with existential provocations and jet-black wit that redefines the term "uncomfortable." A young, angry David Mamet wrote the script over two decades ago while in the process of a divorce. His lead was afforded brutal, multi-page monologues seeped in such primal fury and pain it’s as if the writer had turned his guts inside out to bleed words onto paper. Macy’s performance is extraordinary and quite unlike anything we have seen from him. As his character rediscovers a sense of spontaneity and an amplified drive for self-satisfaction, fairness and respect, he turns into a racist, misogynist menace. Or, it should be said, he finds himself unable to continue repressing these darker aspects of his personality once all self-conscious shackles have been removed. The scenes between Macy and Julia Stiles are astonishing and the film has moments so confrontational it’s not hard to imagine violence breaking out in certain U.S. cinemas that will show it. Stuart Gordon, who was among the first to direct one of Mamet’s plays in his early theatre days, encountered Edmond when it was new and had been wanting to adopt it ever since. It was consistently deemed too controversial and nobody would finance the project. Times have changed. Essentially, Edmond is the story of one man’s struggle to be honest with himself. Features appearances by Bai Ling, Denise Richards, Bokeem Woodbine, Joe Montegna and, of course, Jeffrey Combs.
"It is unlikely there will be a more controversial film at any of the festivals this year…. In ways, EDMOND is the second act of FIGHT CLUB writ large, without the soft pillow of suburban satire that defined the first act or the parachute of love that saved the third" – David Poland, MOVIE CITY NEWS
Hosted by director Stuart Gordon
Director: Stuart Gordon
Screenplay: David Mamet
Cast: William H. Macy, Julia Stiles, Denise Richards, Rebecca Pidgeon, Bai Ling, Joe Mantegna, Dylan Walsh, Mena Suvari, George Wendt
Producers: Chris Hanley, Molly Hassell, Duffy Hecht, Hamish McAlpine, Stuart Gordon
Distributor: Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm