Simply Galling

The Dying Gaul offers three likable people who act appallingly

A tale of deception, betrayal, and revenge, this contemporary Greek tragedy — complete with an unwitting Medea — becomes so overwrought in the last act that it's sure to lose your sympathies. Three likable and fundamentally decent individuals — a Hollywood studio executive, his wife, and a screenwriter whose script the exec wants to buy — get entangled in a bisexual triangle that only the spiteful gods on Mount Olympus could have fashioned. Playwright/screenwriter Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Secret Lives of Dentists) adapts his own stage play for the screen and makes his film directing debut. Ironically it's the script that dooms the movie, a story so over-the-top that it ends up pure histrionics. It's no fault of actors Patricia Clarkson, Peter Sarsgaard, or Campbell Scott, all of whom are superb. In the end, you can't help but wonder what The Dying Gaul is trying to say and how it justifies what it's saying. Not good questions to be asking at a film's conclusion.

Now playing at Regal South Beach Cinema 18, 1120 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach.

 
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