Directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs; written by Ms. Hoffs and Gail Wager Stayden, based on the play by Joseph O'Connor; director of photography, Nancy Schreiber; edited by Dathai Keane; music by Seth Podowitz; production designer, Julieann Getman; produced by Ms. Hoffs, Ms. Stayden, Georganne Aldrich Heller and Alfred Sapse; released by World Wide Motion Pictures Corporation.
The epicenter of all this wretchedness is the patriarch, Enda (Malcolm McDowell, appearing solely in flashback and on home video), now deceased, a college librarian and self-regarding poet. Reluctantly reuniting for the mysteriously deserted wake, his broken offspring settle in for an evening of booze and bickering: the aimless, 20-something daughter (Heather Juergensen); the self-punishing older sister (Susan Lynch); and the prodigal son (Max Beesley), a wounded wastrel emptying most of his emotional baggage on meaningless sex and controlled substances.
While Ma (Olivia Tracey) tipples wearily in the kitchen, and Da incriminates himself in a video diary, the secrets and lies emerge as both unsurprising and uninvolving. The director, Tamar Simon Hoffs, never liberates the material from its confined theatricality (the film is based on Joseph O'Connor's play), and the principals -- who are all excellent -- continually battle her stilted framing and excessively gloomy lighting. All in all, this is a movie best enjoyed with a snoot full and a morbid disposition.
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