Neil LaBute is at it again!
Some Velvet Morning is a film that is really hard to explain without giving away too many details. The film, which features only two characters, Fred (Stanley Tucci) and Velvet (Alice Eve), is one that relays very heavily on its audience being understanding of the film’s single setting with very little happening besides a back and forth conversation/argument between the two characters. The whole plot is centered on Fred, who mysteriously shows up on Velvet’s doorstep out of the blue with all his belongings. He brings news that he finally had the courage to leave his wife for Velvet, which is a shock simply because she claims to not have heard from him or seen him in years.
Like most of LaBute’s work, I feel that Some Velvet Morning is something that would work better as stage play rather than a film. I found the film to be your typical “LaBute” complete with the shocking twist that no one sees coming. The film is very dialogue heavy and I can see a lot of people being bored by what is happening on-screen because its simply just two people bickering back and forth and walking in and out of various rooms in a house.
I will admit, however, that just like all LaBute’s previous non-mainstream films, his actors bring their A-game. Both Tucci and Eve are amazing with their performances and really bring these characters to life. You as an audience member are really curious as to what the heck the backstory is that lead up to this meet up. It also must be mentioned that I have never seen either actor play a role quite like the one that they played in this film. Both Tucci and Eve give really raw performances, which I felt gave them a lot of credibility as actors.
When the film ended, it got a pretty positive response from it’s World Premiere audience at Tribeca. I feel that most people in the audience, however, were those who adore art house films or those who truly admire LaBute and his work. I think this film is really like a work of art due to the way that LaBute crafts the film to seem like one really long take. As for the twist, it will probably leave the majority of audiences either loving it or hating it. I can’t see many people being in between on this one even with the marvelous performances.
In conclusion, I think someone liking Some Velvet Morning depends very heavily on whether they like the actors and/or if they like LaBute as a director/writer. I have seen several films from LaBute including Possession, The Shape of Things, and Some Girl(s) and I am someone who is really on the fence about his work. I guess you can say that I have a love/hate relationship with his films. While I always dig the acting and twists within his work, I consistently find myself bored while watching them. I never feel truly invested with the characters, although I know others would beg to differ. I figure the easiest way to end this review is by simply saying if you like LaBute’s previous films, I can almost guarantee that you will like this film. I personally don’t know what else to say about the film other than it is definitely an art house film and will get majority of its play from being viewed by fans at film festivals around the world.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Some Velvet Morning is a 5 out of 10.