Archive for the ‘Timothy Hutton’ Category

The Dark Half

25 Jan

The Dark Half — directed by George A. Romero. Horror. A college professor moonlighting as a horror story writer is pursued to the death by his doppelganger, his own nom de plume — 122 minutes color 1991.

* * * *

Julie Harris, costumed entirely in lunatic fringe and puffing a meerschaum pipe to boot, plays the college crony crone of our hero, and it’s lovely to see how Harris, a big star with big leading roles behind her, can right-size a role like this and bring to it no more that it will bear, while still giving full value. The original Sally Bowles in I Am A Camera and Frankie in The Member of the Wedding and Abra in East of Eden, here plays a small supporting role: watch, you young actors, what this feels like and how this is managed: no larger, no smaller than ordained: perfect. My view of our hero though is that Timothy Hutton cannot carry a movie, and it is not because of lack of talent or variety of skills with that talent, for his range is certainly demonstrated here. It is as though somewhere in midstream he loses his grip on — I don’t know which — the part the role? A certain doughiness takes over, as the bread starts to rise and then collapses in on itself, as though he could not seek deeper than his instinct. At 31 or so, he’s certainly good looking, even beautiful, and he’s certainly come a long way from Taps, and he certainly has acting in his blood. Nonetheless, this is one of the best pieces of work of his I’ve seen, and his double header as the evil twin is droolingly good. The work of Stephen King always repels me: we’ve a disaffinity of temperament. Always about some male writer, Depp, Richardson, Hutton, Caan, always some remote place in the Maine woods, always someone out to get him and take over. Although over-discursive, here, this version of the theme interests me more than usual: the writer himself as the psychopomp into the hell-realm, not just the wrens, although I liked the wrens a lot.


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