28 February 2000 | Sleepy-17
Involving and demanding portrait of a doomed marriage
This filmed version of an Arthur Miller play is astounding for its emotional realism and deeply-felt acting. But be warned, the failure of a marriage is thrown into relief by the news of Nazi persecution of the Jews, and the only uplifting aspect of the drama is its incredible artistry. Nobody bares the Jewish soul like Miller, and the demonstrated truths of self-hatred are so intimate that it's an embarrassment to watch. (Hell comes to Brooklyn.) The script is terrific yet so flawed in its over-anxious concerns that it seems like an unknown work from the 40's, not the 90's when it was written. Henry Goodman, a DeNiro look-alike, is incredible as the tortured businessman who hates himself more than he hates his wife. Patinkin, Leicester, and McGovern are also terrific. A wonderful job on a great play, but I worry about the picture on the cover of the video which suggests a wistful romantic adventure. Ha!
Kudos to Miller and to all involved.