A producer friend saw Michael Mayer and Stephen Karam‘s adaptation of The Seagull (Sony Classics, 5.11) yesterday, and was stirred and delighted. Mainly by the performances, she said — Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Elizabeth Moss, Brian Dennehy, Corey Stoll. I replied that (a) it had been mostly well reviewed a few days ago after screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, and that (b) I was sorry I hadn’t received a screening invite.
HE to LA-based SPC publicists (who invited colleagues to a screening and a press day three or four weeks ago): “So I don’t get to review The Seagull in a timely fashion? It opens in 11 days. I worship the play and have seen it performed on stage twice in NYC, so missing out on the film version thus far is unfortunate. I’m in NYC as we speak. Any Manhattan screenings between now and Thursday, 5.4?”
I’m still puzzled by the fact that despite The Seagull having shot in mid ’15, it didn’t hit theatres all during ’16 or ’17. In a smoothly functioning realm it would have played at the ’16 fall festivals and opened sometime in the winter, spring or fall of ’17. As I wrote on 3.16.18, there has to be a reason for that.
Lone-wolf naysayer Jude Fry wrote in his 4.22 Indiewire review that Mayer gussies The Seagull up with too many dolly shots, “like he’s choreographing a Green Day song.” He also said Mayer should have left Chekhov’s original play well enough alone. Nontheless the film currently has a 90% RT approval rating.
Also from 3.18: How could watching Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening, Corey Stoll, Billy Howle and Elisabeth Moss performing Chekhov’s greatest play…how could that not be a keeper?”
I last saw The Seagull on the B’way stage in ’08 (Kristin Scott Thomas, Peter Sarsgaard, Carey Mulligan, Zoe Kazan, etc.). Before that I caught a Public Theatre staging ’80 with Chris Walken as Trigorin.