AN UNFORTUNATE THUMBS DOWN FILM REVIEW RATING!
Most fans of William H. Macy will love him in the role of Edmond Burke, and his character portrayal certainly has its merits. With those puppy-dog eyes, many will feel a touch of empathy for a mostly unempathetic character in EDMOND, a film from horror master Stuart Gordon (director of H.P. Lovecraft's RE-ANIMATOR and the newer KING OF THE ANTS).
Macy isn’t unfamiliar with the dark side of cinema. His role as the sexually inadequate Little Bill in BOOGIE NIGHTS cemented his acting career. But he’s moved on to "brighter" pastures with the warm-and-fuzzy PLEASANTVILLE and his stunningly excellent Sheriff Chappy in HAPPY TEXAS. That Macy reinvests himself on the shadowy side won’t bother anyone, but Edmond’s script surely will.
Where the film fails is in its beginnings. Edmond Burke seems like a regular Joe leaving work when he’s handed a Post-It note with a change in time for an appointment tomorrow. On it is scrolled the time of 1:15. He heads home and has a confusing argument with his wife (Rebecca Pidgeon, SHOPGIRL). He explains that he’s emotionally and sexually unattracted to her and then promptly leaves. This is where the film has its biggest problem. We’re never privy to Edmond’s previous life experiences and so don’t know why he feels this way. There appears to be no motivation for his leaving. He just ...does, and we’re supposed to, somehow, understand it. And this lost understanding will plague the rest of the film for viewers.
Edmond heads out into the night and comes upon a fortune teller who tells him "You’re not where you should be." The rest of the film is relegated to finding out "where" he’s supposed to be and constantly running into the 1:15 reference, a personal omen. What he finds is an unleashing of pent up sexual desire, anger, bigotry and murder. Edmond has had some sort of psychotic break but, again, the audience wasn’t privy to his life before this night so have no way to tell why this has happened. He’s just "going crazy" and the audience is supposed to go along with it. The 1:15 omen pops up at dangerous intersections, as do visions of the fortune teller’s tarot cards, sinking Edmond deeper and deeper into a pit of no return.
Scripting problems aside, there’s no damning comments to made about Macy’s performance. He’s in topnotch psycho-mode and it is this that will keep people watching.