Anytime you get involved with Tennessee Williams' characters, you are sure to find yourself at 3 AM in the dark night of someone's soul, when the last waltz has already been danced. But that someone is not necessarily a "real" person. Rather, it's a "creation" by an author whose own life was so "unquietly desperate" that reality had not much meaning for him, a fact which is reflected in his "unreal" characters. These "people" of Williams' certainly give and have given a number of actresses considerable work over the years, and Helen Mirren is surely one of the best. This novella is one of Williams' darkest tales, but should not be regarded as in any way a look at reality, unless you conceive that most of the people of this world are certifiably insane, a condition which Mirren limns admirably. Williams, I think, was intent on delineating a world, which he thought of as real, but which probably derived from his worst nightmares, waking or otherwise, could not actually be realistic. A look at this world is not necessarily an "entertaining" experience, and I doubt that Williams intended it to be. So why bother? Well, you can enjoy the work of the actors, if not the story, and you can speculate about the author as I have been doing. As he was a homosexual, I have considerable doubt that Williams can be taken seriously when he deals with women. Yet almost all his protagonists are women. I wonder why. Oh, I haven't even discussed the story, and I don't think I will, except to say it involves a woman whose actions will seem absolutely incomprehensible to us "normal" folk. My rating of 9 reflects mainly my admiration for Helen Mirren's work. Otherwise, the film offers many irritations, which you can select for yourself.