The Kreutzer Sonata
Having discarded cumbersome period trappings for his superb, stripped down, contemporary Los Angeles-set Tolstoy adaptation Ivansxtc, writer/director Bernard Rose does the same with another story by the Russian master, the second in a planned trilogy. Danny Huston, who got his acting break in the previous film, plays wealthy Beverly Hills resident Edgar Hudson, a man who’s jealousy of his trophy wife Abby (Elisabeth Röhm) drives him insane. Having ended her promising career as a concert pianist by marrying her, Hudson attempts to make amends by partnering her with a talented young violinist to play Beethoven’s titular duet at a charity fundraiser, only to find himself increasingly suspicious of Abby’s infidelity with the young musician.
Rose’s film doesn’t have anything particularly new to say about the corrosive nature of jealousy, but Tolstoy’s timeless tale of a hell of one’s own making does fit neatly into the shallow, self-indulgent world of LA’s super-rich. The somewhat schematic flashback narrative structure leaves little room for doubt as to where the plot’s headed, although that’s sort of the point. Otherwise, it’s competently put together and boasts another fine performance from Huston. And the music is, ahem, to die for.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh and selected release from Fri 26 Mar.