Atom Egoyan‘s Remember screens tomorrow (9.10) at the Venice Film Festival. No disrespect but I stopped trusting Egoyan a long time ago. I had a particularly difficult time with The Captive, which I saw at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. So I’m taking a rave review of Remember (from an industry-involved guy called “Marlowe”) with a grain of salt.
For one thing it’s a Holocaust-related Nazi-hunt thing, and the calendar has pretty much shut that genre down, certainly in a present-day context. Everyone from that period is either dead or in their 90s and therefore less than ambulatory, and probably too weak or disoriented to accomplish anything. Marathon Man was 39 years ago. Give it a rest.
“It’s a small film that ultimately packs a powerful punch,” Marlowe contends. “Christopher Plummer plays a Holocaust survivor living in a retirement home with his dying wife along with Martin Landau, a weak, wheelchair-bound friend. Landau has persuaded Plummer that after his wife passes he has to track down the surviving Nazi who tortured him and Landau 70-odd years ago. The fact that Plummer has advanced Alzheimer’s compromises his likely effectiveness in this regard, but he has a handwritten letter from Landau that instructs him exactly how to proceed.
“Plummer’s wife dies and so begins his journey. But as he travels across the country the letter gets smudged by a drink at a restaurant. And then he meets the son of the Nazi target, played by Breaking Bad‘s Dean Norris. The ending is a shocker. My mind was blown; I never saw it coming. And Plummer gives an incredible performance. This is easily Egoyan’s best film since The Sweet Hereafter.”
HE to “Marlowe”: The get-the-Nazi instructions letter is ‘smudged by a drink at a bar’? Why didn’t Landau just tap out the instructions in email format? Or on the notepad app on his iPhone? Plummer cold have at least transcribed the note onto his smartphone for safe keeping.