THE SEAG­ULL (M) An old play in a new way, US, 99 min

Townsville Bulletin - Townsville Eye - - EYE | FASHION -

Those who know their classic theatre are cor­rect in as­sum­ing this is in­deed a movie adap­ta­tion of the Chekhov chest­nut from 1896. Those who know the revered play The Seag­ull in­side-out are also cor­rect in as­sum­ing that its en­tic­ingly loaded di­a­logue and house­bound lo­ca­tion are not a nat­u­ral fit for the big screen. This is where the great An­nette Ben­ing comes in (and I re­ally mean great: her last two movie per­for­mances in 20th Cen­tury Women and Film Stars Don’t Die in Liver­pool are mas­ter classes in act­ing). Her an­chor­ing pres­ence hauls an es­o­teric en­sem­ble cast to bet­ter places than hoped. Ben­ing plays Irina, a past-her-prime Moscow stage siren vis­it­ing her brother’s coun­try home for the sum­mer. As we get to know oth­ers pass­ing through, a cu­ri­ous trend emerges: al­most ev­ery­one ap­pears to be in love with the wrong per­son, or is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing the no­tion. A re­fined, yet lively pe­riod piece. Not es­sen­tial, but quite en­ter­tain­ing. Co-stars Saoirse Ro­nan, Elis­a­beth Moss, Corey Stoll.

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