directed by Jason Winer
The Jason Winer/Peter Baynham reboot of the classic film Arthur, this time around starring the famous train wreck turned endearing comedian Russell Brand, is a bit more watered down that one would expect, but the tonic is still charming in its own way. Brand plays Arthur Bach, heir to a fortune and a lovable, drunken mess, ever in the pursuit of fun, much to the charming chagrin of one Hobson (played wonderfully, as always, by Helen Mirren). When momma Bach threatens to cut Arthur off unless he marries business minded Susan (expertly played by the lovely Jenifer Garner), Arthur faces a choice between his security and his heart’s true love, the whimsical Naomi (Greta Gerwig). The film hits many snags along the way to its conventional point, but the performances (as was the case in the Pegg/Frost comedy, Paul) help carry the film. To use one of Arthur’s talents as an analogy, this film is like the non-suicide inducing version of Leaving Las Vegas. Give it a chance and it will put a smile on your face, whether you want it to or not.
Note: A scientific curio for those interested in such phenomena: Nick Nolte’s voice has devolved into some sort of vocal abstraction, a voice in only the most technical sense. In the film, Nolte appears to utilize muscles in his throat and diaphragm, causing what resembles sound to emanate from the veneer stuffed orifice on his face. It’s even more out of control that what has happened to Mickey Rourke’s once soft, silky voice. Seriously, do you guys just get up every morning, smoke 7 packs of cigarettes, and then gargle with paint thinner?