Rating: Not Rated
Simon Abkarian as Merlin
Patrick J. Adams as Dwight Angel
Riz Ahmed as Vijay
Bob Balaban as Mr. White
Adriana Barraza as Anita de Los Angeles
Steve Buscemi as Frank
Jakob Cedergren as Otto
Lily Cole as Lettuce Leaf
Judi Dench as Mona Carvell
Eddie Izzard as Tiny Diamonds
Jude Law as Minx
John Leguizamo as Jed
David Oyelowo as Homer
Dianne Wiest as Miss Roth
21 Unused Scenes
Interview with Sally Potter
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 95 Minutes
The following is the official description of the film:
“Michelangelo, the unseen schoolboy with his phone camera, goes behind the scenes at a New York fashion show during seven days in which an accident on the catwalk turns into a murder investigation.
Fourteen actors, both celebrated stars and exciting emerging talents, play characters who each have a role in the fashion show: from the designer (Simon Abkarian) and his models (supermodel Lily Cole and Jude Law, stunning in drag), the toxic fashion critic (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) the desperate paparazzo (Steve Buscemi), the fashion house financier (Eddie Izzard) and his bodyguard (John Leguizamo). As they start to confide in Michelangelo, their personal truths begin to surface and the reality of events taking place off screen at the show start to unravel.
Defying the usual conventions of film and using a radical narrative structure focusing entirely on individual performances, ‘Rage’ is the new cinematic creation from ground-breaking writer/director Sally Potter (‘Orlando,’ ‘Yes,’ ‘The Man Who Cried’).”
“Rage” is not rated.
“Rage” isn’t a film I’d typically go out of my way to see, but I gave it a shot anyway. Unfortunately, I confirmed why I typically wouldn’t go see it.
“Rage” is filmed as if a young student were interviewing a group of people involved in a fashion show. The first act features each of the people explaining how they are involved with the show. Some are narcissistic. Some are simply doing their job. Some see it as a stepping stone to greater things. There are critics, seamstresses, businessmen, celebrities, models, and more. In the second act, an accident has taken place at the fashion show and we see everyone’s reaction to it. Now the police come on the scene. The third act features everyone’s reactions as the press hit the scene. Some use the attention to further their own goals. Some are shocked. The reactions run the gambit. In the final act, the videographer, Michelangelo, faces fallout from posting videos of the interviews online.
In theory, this is an interesting concept. The idea of telling a story with nothing but a parade of characters standing alone in front of the camera is interesting. But in execution it’s quite boring. Watching these people in front of a blank background isn’t very visually stimulating, especially at 1 hour 40 minutes in running time. It gets tiring. And the fact that many of them aren’t particularly likable characters doesn’t help much. This is a format that would seem to work better as a stage play or even a play with one actor on stage playing all the roles.
The variety of actors that do take part are quite interesting. Judy Dench, Steve Buscemi, Eddie Izzard, John Leguizamo, and Dianne Wiest all have roles. But the most memorable is Jude Law as Minx, a fashion model. He’s in drag and does nothing to disguise his masculine voice. It’s quite disturbing at first. Actually, it’s quite disturbing through the whole movie. I suppose it was an acting challenge for him, but not one that’s going to appeal to the general public.
“Rage” is a movie only for people that love independent films or off Broadway plays. It is not really accessible for general audiences at all.
As minimalist as the movie is, the bonus features are equally light. There is a batch of deleted scenes, an interview with director Sally Potter, and the theatrical trailer.