I am a tremendous fan of Philip Roth’s The Dying Animal and this film does a couple of very smart things. For one, it changes the name. And changes the lead character a great deal. Many of the details and backstory are gone. And he’s an Englishman in the States, not the classic NYC Jew. This is all good as it wasn’t a few minutes in that I stopped comparing the movie to the book.
And what this movie is all about, frankly, is a love affair. Is it a good love? A bad love? This movie thinks there is no such thing. It is certainly a cinematic love, with lots of classical piano, slo-motion city walking and well-shot scenes on the beach.
I can’t tell you specifically what I liked about this bleak picture – but maybe after a summer of action heroes I needed some slowing down.