|RAGE (director/writer: Sally Potter; cinematographer: Steve Fierberg; editor: Daniel Goddard; music: Fred Frith/Sally Potter; cast: Simon Abkarian (Merlin), Patrick J. Adams (Dwight Angel ), Riz Ahmed (Vijay), Bob Balaban (Mr. White), Adriana Barraza (Anita of LA), Steve Buscemi (Frank), Jakob Cedergren (Otto), Lily Cole (Lettuce Leaf), Judi Dench (Mona Carvell), Eddie Izzard (Tiny Diamonds), Jude Law (Minx), John Leguizamo (Jed), David Oyelowo (Homer), Dianne Wiest (Miss Roth); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Christopher Sheppard/Andrew Fierberg; Adventure Pictures; 1993-UK/USA)|
emotionally-wrought black comedy about the
by Dennis Schwartz
Potter ("The Tango Lesson"/"Ginger &
Rosa"/"Orlando") helms and writes this almost
unbearable emotionally-wrought black comedy about the
fashion world, that holds to the popular phrase among
fashion folks that 'all is the rage.' The title Rage
comes from that phrase shortened. It wastes a talented
name cast as it tells of a murder mystery or two on
the runway. It also exploits two of its name stars, by
having Jude Law play a super-model in drag
and fashion critic Judi Dench smoke a joint.
premise has a black teen named Michelangelo
(never seen or heard), filming diverse
characters for his blog from backstage at a
NYC fashion show run by the famous
designer Merlin (Simon Abkarian).
Michelangelo is operating a website
used to promote a new fragrance of his.
What we get is 14 extended interviews (monologues)
into Michelangelo's cellphone
camera from those attending the show. The better
interviews include Dianne Wiest as the sullen company
manager for Merlin, the real model turned actress Lily
Cole who remains cloistered with Merlin, and
motorcycle pizza delivery boy (Riz Ahmed) finding that
his vehicle caused the accidental death of a model
whose scarf got tangled in the wheels of his scooter.
After the death, the show is halted. But when resumed
another model ends up dead after shot while strutting
on the runway. When halted and resumed for a third
time, there's a workers' protest over the
unfair labor practices of the fashion house’s vulgar
money-man owner, “Tiny” Diamonds (Eddie Izzard).
This incites the protesting youths, following the
event on Michelangelo's
website, to destroy the show and those connected
to generate any real feelings for this unrealistic
pic and its puzzling agenda and its peculiar
characters. Though well-directed and surprisingly
well-written, it seems an exercise in futility--one
that is neither entertaining, edgy nor purposeful.
What the unremarkable film lacks is the energy to
run with this offbeat look at the fashion world,
used as a metaphor for the failures of
REVIEWED ON 5/20/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ