16 July 2001 | emurer
An allegory about the refusal of grace
It's been awhile since I've seen this. I remember it as an odd movie and overlong, but certain elements of it haunt me. A British playwright (Alan Bates) travels from place to place in the US using different theater groups to try out different endings to a play which he is chronically unable to finish. His drinking and chain smoking annoy everybody around him, and clearly get in the way of the fulfilment of a calling, the working out of his own authentic story, which finishing the play represents. I was particularly intrigued with two figures in the movie--an elderly homeless man and a young man on a skateboard--whom I take to be angels, or messengers of death, trying to warn him to mend his ways. I read the film as being not so much about addiction as about the refusal of grace.