Celebrity Skin: Andy Burns Reviews Collaborator

What’s with our obsession with celebrity? The whole TMZ, Perez, gossip sites that so many of us venture to regularly to get our fix – why do we do it? Is it the glamour? I suppose. Maybe we all have a little voyeur in us? Could be. Or maybe we just like watch a train wreck.

In his new film Collaborator, actor/director Martin Donovan shines a subtle light on the power of celebrity and how it can save and ruin lives. Check out the trailer and then read our review after the jump!

Collaborator_posterIn Collaborator, Martin Donovan plays playwright Robert Longfellow, who has come home to Los Angeles to visit his mom and maybe pick up a writing assignment. While there, he sees his next door neighbour Gus (David Morse), a 57 year-old drunk who still lives with his mother. Before long, events transpire that leads Gus to take Robert hostage in his own home. That’s when the fun begins.

Collaborator is a slow film, one that may give viewers some frustration. However, if you stick with it, you’re rewarded with some great performances from the two leads. Donovan, familiar to many from Weeds, plays Longfellow with the perfect amount of weariness. This character  has gone through a lot in life, and Donovan puts it all on the screen. Like so much of the film, it’s a subtle performance, but one that’s solid, even when placed against David Morse and his charisma.

Morse is great and worth watching for the film’s 90 minute run time – he plays a character that’s relatable and sympathetic, but is also loud and brash. Those latter moments are what may stand out, but when Gus gets on the phone with Longfellow’s friend, superstar actress Emma Stiles (Olivia Williams), one of the big points of the film is beautifully made – celebrities hold sway over us, whether we like it or not.

As a first time director, Martin Donovan hits many of the right notes. He gets solid performances out of himself and David Morse, and shows some style in his cinematic choices. His tracking shots through L.A. help make the city a character – the bright lights and big city can be blinding.

Why are we obsessed with celebrity? It’s hard to nail it down, but Collaborator gives us a few answers to consider. Check it out on DVD/Blu-ray/VOD and see what you come up with.

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