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Starring William H. Macy, Julia Stiles, Rebecca Pidgeon and Joe Mantegna
Screenplay by David Mamet
Directed by Stuart Gordon

IN SHORT: hardcore Mamet [Rated R for violence, strong language, and sexual content including nudity and dialogue. 82 minutes]

An old song goes, "You always hurt the one you love." In a David Mamet Universe, the word "love" means entirely different things . . . even if it is still spelled with four letters. His last few films lightened up on the gutter language, but Edmond is a return to the classics, so to speak. If you have problems with four letter words, stay far far away from it. We have no problem, but Mamet lays it on thick in this film. That warning given, Edmond details the utter disintegration of a middle aged, upper middle class man in a suit. It is a depiction of mid-life crisis pushed far beyond the max; of behavior that runs well past the red line; of impulsive actions that can destroy many lives with one killing stroke. We're getting ahead of our self.

Like every middle aged, middle class corporate man in a suit, Edmond never sees The Crisis coming. With a little bit of thought, any viewer with a couple of years under his or her belt, probably could remember crossing paths or knowing an Edmond-type. Pleasant. Polite. Soft spoken. Happily married and employed. High enough up the corporate ladder that any thoughts or expressions now banned by the Rules of Political Correctness were deeply suppressed long before PC came to mean more than "personal computer."

Edmond (William H. Macy) is a man in a suit at a corporation that has pretty much put him out to pasture. Whatever it was he did for a living is no longer important in the grand scheme of corporate things for this film begins on the last day of his corporate life. Edmond arrives at the office for a meeting that, to his surprise, has been cancelled without notice. At least without notice to him. Something about that diss makes Edmond realize that he needs to make changes in his life. At home that evening, the wife (Rebecca Pidgeon) tells him that the maid has broken a favorite lamp. Two annoying but completely innocuous events trip whatever fail safe has been preventing Edmond from doing whatever it was he really wants to do or say; he announces that their marriage is over and walks out of his apartment and his wife's life, presumably, forever

"Forever" means as long as it takes to walk to a conveniently located watering hole -- the film appears to be set in New York City where bars are a mere stumble from wherever you may be -- where a random conversation with a stranger (Joe Mantegna) provides the key to solving his problem. Said solution requires searching out a fair young thing to perform a sexual act that his wife will not, an act that it would be impolite to describe in a family oriented forum like ours. Heading into the sleazier part of what looks like New York City did in the 1970s, Edmond stupidly calls out some three card monte scammers, and gets "relieved" of just about everything on his person that is worth anything. The sole exception is his wedding ring which is soon pawned. With a fresh C note in his pocket, a military styled hunting knife in his waistband and determined never to beat around the bush, ever, Edmond rudely propositions a waitress (Julia Stiles) at the dive where he has dinner, takes her home and has his way.

By the time he's done, Edmond has vented 47 years of frustration. Everything that follows made our screening room full of critics shrink back in their chairs. If you're wise enough to know who David Mamet is and what he writes, you are smart enough to put the pieces together from what little hint we've given. The language is intense and offensive. The events of the film will catch you by surprise, even if you've already correctly guessed what is to come, as we did. We doubt you'll be prepared for the moment when you know what hits the fan.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Edmond, he would have paid . . .


Rent it. be prepared for totally hardcore Mamet. If you have "problems" with language or violence, this is not the film for you. Even if you know of and appreciate David Mamet's work, watching Edmond is like getting sucker punched and then dragged through the underside of a violently repressed life. It is a tough sit.

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