Sunday

  • 1997
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A promising feature-fiction debut by Jonathan Nossiter, whose only previous credit is the Quentin Crisp documentary RESIDENT ALIEN. David Suchet (Mystery!'s Hercule Poirot) gives an amazingly controlled performance as onetime IBM tax accountant Oliver, who, thanks to corporate downsizing, is homeless and living in a run-down Queens, NY, men's shelter. One...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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A promising feature-fiction debut by Jonathan Nossiter, whose only previous credit is the Quentin Crisp documentary RESIDENT ALIEN. David Suchet (Mystery!'s Hercule Poirot) gives an amazingly controlled performance as onetime IBM tax accountant

Oliver, who, thanks to corporate downsizing, is homeless and living in a run-down Queens, NY, men's shelter. One frozen Sunday morning, Oliver is approached on the street by Madeleine (Lisa Harrow), a slightly unbalanced, out-of-work British actress who mistakes him for filmmaker Matthew

Delacorta. Madeleine, angling for a part and a way out of the purgatory that is Queens, invites Oliver home and seduces him; Oliver, passive and already stripped of his former identity, lets her think whatever she wants. Nossiter's rough verite style strongly recalls the alternative American

cinema of the early 1960s, such as John Cassavetes' SHADOWS and Shirley Clarke's THE CONNECTION. Nossiter even manages to flog that long-dead horse into a remarkable semblance of life, recapturing the freshness and excitement of actor-oriented filmmaking and deftly capturing the desperation of

disenfranchised lives adrift in a characterless, prefabricated landscape. The further they wander off the streets and into the back roads of their characters' minds, the more trouble Nossiter and coscreenwriter James Lasdun run into: Despite a number of beautifully written monologues, the film's

central relationships could have used a bit more explication. Still, the film's assurance is remarkable, and helped make it a big winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival. "Doubt is the protoplasm of real art," quotes Madeleine, repeating the words of the famous Delacorta. Perhaps, but

Nossiter seems to have done quite well without it.

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  • Released: 1997
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A promising feature-fiction debut by Jonathan Nossiter, whose only previous credit is the Quentin Crisp documentary RESIDENT ALIEN. David Suchet (Mystery!'s Hercule Poirot) gives an amazingly controlled performance as onetime IBM tax accountant Oliver, wh… (more)

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