What a pathetic little man Max Zorn is. It’s not just his prose that’s lame (shockingly, the screenplay’s co-written by Schlöndorff and Colm Tóibín), it’s the very core of his being. A habitual skirt-chaser, he hasn’t the slightest ear for a woman’s heart, mind or soul, and Schlöndorff’s asking for a leap of faith too far if we’re to truly believe women keep falling for him. Then there’s the sheer lack of believability in the performances across the board, and I certainly wouldn’t blame this cast.
There was a handsomely mounted dud – Return to Montauk, by the veteran Volker Schlöndorff. Stellan Skarsgård is an anguished, middle-aged author, German art-cinema diva Nina Hoss (from Phoenix) is his one that got away. It’s scripted by the novelist Colm Tóibín, and while there’s some finely turned dialogue, the result is essentially a coffee-table weepie.
The Swiss author’s confessional about a weekend liaison on Long Island is denuded of the provocative spark that the original text possessed, with Stellan Skarsgård and Nina Hoss ambling through the proceedings without troubling themselves to hit any high-notes of dramatic power.