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Married Life

Married Life

Director:Ira Sachs
Cast:Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Pierce Brosnan, Rachel Mcadams
Release Date:2008

By Evan Guilfoyle | Posted 4/2/2008

Married Life With its pedigree (adapted from a novel by John Bingham, a former British spy and friend of novelist John Le Carré) and cast (Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Pierce Brosnan, and Rachel McAdams), Married Life should have been a virtual cinch as genre script lovingly adapted from its pulp source. Ably assisted by cinematographer Peter Deming and with Tindersticks' Dickon Hinchliffe writing the score, director Ira Sachs' throwback about a man who prefers to poison his wife rather than leave her, in humiliation, for his mistress should be a more engaging moviegoing experience. Unfortunately, it is not. The performances are perfunctory, its art-house ambitions are telegraphed from the awkward Henry Darger-esque credit sequence, and Brosnan's wry voice-over narration is a knowing cliché from the very start. But as Life runs on and on in its attempt to address the lurking sexual duplicity that exists between married couples in a straight-laced WASP Connecticut community in 1949, the voice-over's overuse is relied upon to cover up editing-room approximations and get the running time down. Sach's previous Forty Shades of Blue was a microbudgeted California drama enveloped in the earnest style of John Cassavetes' filmmaking, but it was rugged in ways that Life is overly formal and subsequently limp.

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