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Some Velvet Morning: Mum's the word

For once our movie critic manages to keep his trap shut.

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Critics always catch hell for spoiling a movie's surprises, and this acidic two-hander by writer-director Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men) is such a narrative onion that I can barely recount the premise without diminishing your enjoyment of the story. Suffice it to say that, one morning around lunchtime, the beautiful young Velvet (Alice Eve) receives an unexpected and quite unwelcome visit from the caustic, middle-aged Fred (Stanley Tucci), and the two characters rake over their shared past as the threat of violence steadily grows. Though LaBute wrote this for the screen, I mistakenly decided that it must have originated onstage, not only because the unities of time, place, and action are so rigorously observed but because the oblique, heavily freighted dialogue seems too elegant and artful for a medium dominated by hacks.

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