Wetherby | Chicago Reader

Wetherby

British playwright David Hare (Plenty) wrote and directed this arch, overstyled downer about a lonely schoolteacher (Vanessa Redgrave) who is prompted to reexamine her life when a young, mysterious stranger blows his brains out in her fashionable kitchen. As in Plenty, Hare is trying to use a woman's emotional crisis as a metaphor for the loss of passion and energy he sees undermining Britain, yet the artificial dialogue, the ritual pacing, and the disruptive flashback structure do little more than perpetuate the general sense of enervation he wants to attack. Still, Redgrave's edgy vitality makes her a riveting presence even in material as airless as this, and the film debut of her daughter, Joely Richardson, announced another noble extension to the Redgrave dynasty. With Ian Holm.

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