13 November 2013 | l_rawjalaurence
Analysis of the Contemporary Movie-Making Business that Misfires Slightly
SEDUCED AND ABANDONED begins with a fascinating premise, as actor Alec Baldwin and filmmaker James Toback try to raise funds for their proposed new movie, tentatively entitled "Last Tango in Tikrit." This documentary charts their efforts to schmooze a variety of investors from various countries into giving them the $15m. necessary to finance the movie. Some of the situations are extremely funny, especially when Toback tries his level best to convince the investors of the viability of his proposal, even if it means agreeing to any and every suggestion the investors propose. However the film's principal subject-matter gets lost, as many of the movie people interviewed (including actors Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain, directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola) discuss various topics, including their origins, the arts of acting and directing, and their views of filmmaking as a whole. As a result the narrative tends to sag in places, despite numerous reminders - in the form of visuals - that the film business comprises 95% hustling and 5% filmmaking. On the plus side, both Baldwin and Toback come across as basically likable and sincere, the kind of artists that should be encouraged in their future endeavors.