Released February 15th
“Marlowe” is a beautifully shot period piece that takes place in the late 1930’s. It is one of the few historical realizations that I’ve seen on film that does not look forced or stylized. It surrounds you will a distinct environment. The story and dialogue are beautifully written and the acting by an ensemble of some of the best actors of our time, is a joy to watch. You can feel their exhilaration and pain. The cast includes Liam Neeson as “Phiip Marlowe,” Diane Kruger as “ Clare Cavendish,” Jessica Lange as “Dorothy Quincannon,” and Danny Huston, Alan Cumming, Francois Arnaud and Adenale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.
This is an excellent noir mystery drama. The story unfolds with a graceful intensity, written with a flowing ease. Deep vivid colors glow against soft dark shadows in the corners of the rooms, inspiring mystery. Even the blocking of the characters shows each careful thought processing in silence before carefully chosen words, recalling the style of the noir films of the 1940’s and 1950’s.
Irish director Neil Jordan creates a visceral world with an emotional atmosphere that plays as real.
The debauchery of the “no rules” budding film industry of the 1930’s is presented with more depth than the over-the-top sensational rendition in Babylon. In “Marlowe” the effects of overindulgence occur spontaneously, interspersed with the emotional highs and lows of the people involved.
Jordan is also an award-winning writer of acclaimed novels and stories, almost all set in Ireland. He won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for The Crying Game in 1992, which was a truly a breakout film for its time. He a master of the emotive use of color. Perhaps he picked that up from his long history with one of the great directors of our time who lived and worked in Ireland from 1970 on, John Boorman. Boorman is a hyper-imaginative force in filmmaking because he was given the green light by studios relatively early in his career. He has been able to go with his instincts in a way that few directors in history have been able to do, to create a fabulously unique and groundbreaking anthology of cinema over his career.
In the late 1970’s, Jordan was working for Irish television and part of his job description was as a writer of storylines for a children’s fantasy series. Boorman recruited him to be a “creative associate” on his Excalibur in 1981. The following year, Boorman was executive producer on Jordan’s first feature. Both directors are born storytellers. For Boorman, Celtic mythology is his Marvel Comics. Many of his films are based on epic folk tales. Jordan’s 1984 film The Company of Wolves is a dark sensual recreation of the “Little Red Riding Hood” fairy tale.
“Marlowe” is a piece of cinematic literature. Like Boorman, Jordan makes the films he wants to make, not those that production studios and box office returns dictate. He explores with great sensitivity characters often maligned or marginalized. He is truly in this business for the art of it, evidenced by the fact that in 2018 he donated his archives to the National Library of Ireland. It is directors such as these who are our modern folk heroes.
Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. firstname.lastname@example.org.