Boulevard, and its huge mansion with the omnipresent swimming pool,
substitute Director George Hickenlooper for Billy Wilder, Andy Garcia
for William Holden, James Coburn for Gloria Swanson, Olivia Williams
for Erich von Stroheim, and, viola, youíve got the basis for the
story of The Man From Elysian Fields, with Mick Jagger thrown in for
Luther Fox (Jagger)
runs an escort service called Elysian Fields. Byron Tiller (Garcia), a
struggling writer of fiction, meets Fox after being rejected by both
his publisher and his former employer, at a time when heís destitute
and depressed. Heís not
producing an income to care for his beautiful and loving wife, Dena (Julianna
Margulies) and their son. Despite
her unquestioning support for his income-less efforts to get
published, Tiller enters into what rapidly turns into a Faustian-type
deal with Fox, who fixes him up with the gorgeous Andrea Alcott
(Williams). Andrea is married to terminally ill-world famous author
Tobias Alcott (Coburn) and the game is afoot.
Jayson Laskerís script seamlessly shows how Tiller is slowly but
easily lured into relationships with both the Alcotts, jeopardizing
the love of his devoted and trusting wife.
Tiller proceeds despite his feelings of
guilt. He thinks
heís got the world on a string, sublimating the personal and moral
consequences of what heís doing.
But, then, isnít that how the devil wants his victims to
stumbles his way deeper into a morass as the Alcotts lure him into
what seems an irresistible venture. He never seems to ask the
question, is this too good to be true?
Garcia captures the vulnerability and depression of a
struggling writer perfectly. All
the actors are superb, but Jagger is brilliant. Luther Fox is a role
against image (although Jagger started out as a middle class student
at the London School of Economics, the world knows him as a wild, hard
rocker). Fox is a suave,
debonair sophisticate apparently from the upper class, and apparently
in control of everything. This impression crumbles as we learn about
his relationship with Jennifer Adler (Angelica Huston), which isnít
what he assumes.
Not as dark
and gothic as Sunset Boulevard, and despite an ending that needed the
touch of a Julius Epstein (Casablanca),
this is an enjoyable, stimulating movie by any measure.