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Edmond

Year: 2005
Production Co: 120db Films
Director: Stuart Gordon
Writer: David Mamet
Cast: William H Macy, Julia Stiles, Joe Mantegna, Denise Richards, Bai Ling, Jeffrey Combs, Debi Mazar, George Wendt, Bokeem Woodbine

Do tales of urban alienation and the odds stacked against the modern man (in the gender specific sense) comment on society or the individual? Michael Douglas in 1993 drama/thriller Falling Down was a man disenfranchised by the system that was supposed to keep him happy. In the end it gave society an out by revealing his anger management issues — it was just a lone crazy after all, not the way we've treated him.

In a similar vein, Edmond depicts William H Macy when he comes to a quiet but solid epiphany. He tells his attractive wife one evening that he's leaving their nice house and not coming back. After meeting a stranger in a bar (Joe Mantegna) who articulates both their frustrations with a world that spits in their faces after so many years of economic servitude and gives minorities all the breaks, Edmond embarks on a quest.

It consists in the first instance of getting laid, and most of the film deals with Edmond's education about the underworld — it's a dangerous place, and not dissimilar to the one he knows. Down here, he's still surrounded by people trying to separate him from his money by any means necessary. It's a tough lesson to learn as it leaves him bloodied and beaten and — in the most bizarre twist — a killer, carried away by the passions of his perceived awakening.

Macy is joined by a cast of strong female performances who all form episodes of his journey, one in which he ends up becoming the things he claims to have hated most in an ending straight out of left field.

Like all David Mamet's scripts (and based on his play from the early 80s), it's a deep plunge into the psyche of the characters but with the absence of special effects, explicit sex or CGI.

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