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Movie Review: Dying Gaul

Alternate Title: Sex, Lies and Chat Rooms

Story: How to describe a compelling must-see film with the appropriate aplomb? Hmm - acting beyond the pale, intriguing dialogue, plot twists, revenge, lust, life, death and the human condition are treated with sensitivity and drama. How does that grab you?

Our protagonist, Robert has written a screenplay about two men that Hollywood wants. The caveat is that the characters need to be rewritten as a heterosexual couple rather than a homosexual couple so that it has an audience. This film depicts a Hollywood predator studio executive pitted against the innocent, not willing to compromise screenwriter. The power of money prevails and the story takes off into directions you will not be prepared to watch.

Based on the 1998 stage play by Craig Lucas this leap to the big screen works without flaws. Lucas makes the jump to director without a hitch. His other screenplays include The Secret Lives of Dentists, Prelude to a Kiss and the very wonderful, Longtime Companion.We watch the power of sex and money change characters. The wife of the studio executive becomes an integral if not central part of the plot. I won't reveal much of the drama because I don't want to spoil the film for you.

Trust me when I say that you will be riveted and will not be sure who to root for in this very fine piece of celluloid. To see the sculpture 'The Dying Gaul' go to:http://www.sculpturegallery.com/sculpture/dying_gaul.html

Acting: The three actor cast is brilliant. Peter Sarsgaard is amazing as the seemingly innocent screenwriter .Patricia Clarkson, as always is right on the money. She is even more compelling and believable than usual as the wife of the Hollywood big-wig. Campbell Scott as the executive plays his part with his usual skill.

Predilection: None

Critters: 0

Soundtrack: Compelling soundtrack by Steve Reich

Opening Titles: Titles at end

Theater Audience: Fairly crowded for a Tuesday mid afternoon.

Sappy Factor: 0

Drift Factor: Dare not to blink or you will miss something.

Predictability Level: Did not have a clue as to where this was going. I did not see the stage play.

Oscar Worthy: Patricia Clarkson and Peter Sarsgaard are worthy.

Big Screen or Rental: I am not sure where the audience for this film will come from. Check it out if you can on the big screen. Some of Peter Sarsgaard's other fine work is in: Kinsey, Garden State, Shattered Glass, K-19: The Widowmaker, Boys Don't Cry and Dead Man Walking. For some of Patricia Clarkson's other work check out: Good Night, and Good Luck, Dogville, The Station Agent, Pieces of April, Far from Heaven and Joe Gould's Secret.

Length: Under two hours.