Perfs and ideas build on scripts theatrical foundation

The Architect

on December 01, 2006 by Richard Mowe
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An award-winning architect finds himself pitted against a resident who has to live in one of his deteriorating housing blocks in Chicago in Matt Tauber's thoughtful second feature. The film draws comparisons between the different circumstances of the two families and explores class and cultural gulfs. Anthony LaPaglia gives a world-weary depth to the architect who has to confront issues in his personal and professional lives, with Viola Davis as the feisty and persistent thorn in his flesh from the projects. Isabella Rossellini plays the architect's sidelined wife who begins to have doubts about her husband's principles. He's also in conflict with his daughter (Hayden Panettiere), who is coping with adolescence, and their son (Sebastian Stan), confused by his sexuality and also how to match his father's expectations of him.

Meanwhile, Davis' character has to desperately keep her family safe from the drug- and crime-infested hazards on the other side of the tracks. She sees the only solution to a better life would be to tear down the project and start again--her plan is to try enlist to her side the very man who designed it in the first place.

Tauber, an award-winning stage director who adapted the piece from an original play by Scot playwright David Greig, cannot quite escape its theatrical origins in some of the exchanges. The strengths, however, are to be found in the ensemble acting and the clashes of ideas and ideals. Distributor: Magnolia
Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Viola Davis, Isabella Rossellini, Hayden Panettiere, Sebastian Stan and Walton Goggins
Director/Screenwriter: Matt Tauber
Producers: Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente, Danny Leiner and Declan Baldwin
Genre: Drama
Rating: R for language and some sexual content
Running time: 82 min.
Release date: December 1, 2006 NY, December 8 exp, December 15 exp

Tags: Magnolia Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Viola Davis, Isabella Rossellini, Hayden Panettiere, Sebastian Stan, Walton Goggins, Matt Tauber, Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente, Danny Leiner, Declan Baldwin, Drama, architect, cultural, conflict, drug, crime
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