Shad­ows and lies in the TMZ

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - | FILM REVIEWS -

RULES DON’T AP­PLY Di­rected by War­ren Beatty. Star­ring War­ren Beatty, Lily Collins, Alden Ehren­re­ich, An­nette Ben­ing, Matthew Brod­er­ick, Alec Bald­win, Ha­ley Ben­nett, Candice Ber­gen. 12A, gen cert, 126 min War­ren Beatty is, one sup­poses, go­ing more for the sub-fac­tual cheek of Melvin and Howard than the pseudo-his­tor­i­cal sweep of The Avi­a­tor in this pe­cu­liar project hung around the men­tal de­cline of Howard Hughes. Beatty’s de­ci­sion to re­peat­edly layer bits of Mahler’s Fifth sym­phony – the same bits used in Death in Venice – over the last hour sug­gests in­cli­na­tions to­wards grand tragedy. But much of the film plays as an at­tempt at high farce. This sort of un­even­ness of­ten re­sults when “long-cher­ished” film projects come to fruition.

Lily Collins plays Marla Mabrey, the lat­est young star­let pro­pelled to­wards com­pro­mise when sum­moned to LA from the rose-cov­ered in­lands. Mabrey has se­cured a con­tract with Hughes that, though lu­cra­tive, seems un­likely to lead to­wards any time on screen. Hughes buys such stars the way he buys ho­tels or ex­pen­sive aero­planes.

On her first day, an equally in­no­cent young Methodist named Frank Forbes (Aldo Ehren­re­ich) turns up to drive her about the city. They buzz with optimism. She fan­cies her­self as a song­writer. He in­tends to be­come a prop­erty mag­nate. But Hughes’s in­creas­ing ec­cen­tric­ity proves a bar­rier to their am­bi­tions.

Beatty turns up as the great recluse to­wards the end of the first act. The ac­tor is old enough to re­mem­ber Hol­ly­wood in its ar­ti­fi­cially chaste 1950s and, like Hughes, has ★★★ THE TICKET | THE IR­ISH TIMES | FRI­DAY, APRIL 21, 2017

Alden Ehren­re­ich and War­ren Beatty

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