1/2 a Thriller

Yesterday I caught the second half of a flick on logo. I knew nothing of it going in, and, rarely get drawn into unfamiliar material this far in. Well, I was immediately addicted, and couldn’t let go.

The movie was No Night Is Too Long, a 2002 BBC dramatization based on the novel of the same name by Barbara Vine (a pseudonym for Ruth Rendell).

No Night Is Too Long

Unfortunately, TIVO doesn’t show it as airing again soon, so I figure I’ll just share my half-assed snapshot of it to peak your interest, and at least cobble together a synopsis and some eye candy. I’m not posting any of the very sexy youtube vids, because I don’t want to spoil those moments out of context.

The portion of the movie I caught revealed a taut thriller, with some very strong performances. Lee Williams as Tim Cornish is a yummy melange of Elijah Wood, Daniel Radcliffe and Tobey Maguire. He is a very good brooder, but offers a far more interesting characterization and layered performance than that. Marc Warren (as Dr. Ivo Steadman) and Mikela J. Mikael (as Isabel) round out the other memorable leads.

Lee Williams

And, yes, there is an operatic footnote here (as always)! The soundtrack features selections from Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. A brief scene staging the reunion of Tim and Ivo is set in an opera house (with a staged Rosenkavalier performance), and uses the Presentation of the Rose (“Mir ist die Ehre wiederfahren”). The finale of the movie is literally accompanied by the instrumental ending of the famous Final Trio, and Ist ein Traum, as Tim plays an lp on his old turntable. The selections are woven seamlessly by composer Christopher Dedrick into his original musical to perfectly support the dramatic arc and outcome. Don’t miss this one!

Wikipedia offers a great synopsis, and a note on a nuance between the movie and book, which I shamelessly borrow.:

“The plot follows a creative writing student from Suffolk named Tim Cornish, an exceptional student who leads a promiscuous lifestyle. A series of chance meetings with Dr. Ivo Steadman, a lecturer at his University, lead to a relationship between Tim and Ivo. All goes well until Ivo becomes extremely busy with issues regarding his university lectures. Tim decides to tease Ivo about sexual advances he is receiving from others, resulting in Ivo becoming violent towards Tim. Despite his reservations about Ivo’s behaviour, Tim agrees to accompany him to Alaska. However, complications arise which lead to Ivo postponing the trip while he supervises a cruise, leaving a reluctant Tim in their hotel. Tim then meets and becomes infatuated with a woman named Isabel, and they have a brief affair. When Ivo returns, he is met with an unenthusiastic Tim, who is still in love with Isabel and is growing impatient with Ivo. They then journey by boat to a remote island. The journey, during which Ivo rapes Tim, is made even more turbulent by Ivo’s suspicions that Tim has had an affair.

Eventually, Ivo and Tim have a heated argument about the affair on the remote island they have sailed to. Before Ivo has a chance to leave, Tim reveals the name of the person he had an affair with. This drives Ivo into a rage, and in the ensuing fight Tim accidentally throws him against a rocky moutainside, leaving him unconscious. Believing he has killed Ivo, Tim manages to flee back to the UK without creating any suspicion. There he unsuccessfully searches for Isabel. Meanwhile, Ivo, who was not actually killed and has escaped from the island where Tim left him, confronts Isabel about the affair. Ivo then reveals that, unbeknownst to Tim, Isabel is actually his sister who was asked to keep an eye on Tim’s behaviour while Ivo was away supervising the cruise, explaining his earlier anger. Soon, Tim begins to receive anonymous letters making it clear that someone is aware of his crime. Eventually, Ivo turns up in person at Tim’s house and discusses the previous events with him. Ironically, on leaving Tim’s house, Ivo is murdered by a deranged drifter. In contrast to the end of the novel, which suggested Isabel and Tim could rekindle their relationship, the film’s closing scene shows Tim unable to open his door and let Isabel into his house.”

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2 comments so far

  1. Connie "Chesty" Del Mondo on

    jcm – Thanks for the thriller alert, though sadly NetFlix has yet to hear of No Night Is Too Long – guess it is, as far as the dvd world is concerned.

    But i’m moved to suggest it might be fun for jumping clapping man to launch a new “tag” category for opera movie footnotes. I have a recent, great one for us that you may have caught – in Quantum of Solace. There is an extended episode that takes place at the Bregenz outdoor summer festival “floating island” venue.

    The opera was the Tosca production designed around a huge set depicting a gigantic, moveable eye – Tosca’s l’occhio nero? I remember the Opera News review of that production complete with a photo of that big eye backdrop. I think it was the 2007 summer festival when it was staged – but since the scene is quite invasive of the performance it probably was a re-staging for the movie shoot.

    Anyway the scene is meant to be maybe a twenty minute chase through the opera complex during the performance but starts during the Act I Te deum and goes right up to the Act III parapet leap (ker-splash!) Funny…

    I was alerted to the fact that Solace was a direct sequel to Casino Royale – picking up minutes after the final fade-out of the latter – so I re-watched CR prior to watching Solace & was glad I did.

    I hope you can catch this latest Bond – I saw the previous one with dear friends one of whom is an opera loony figure skating stage performer too – so I figure you must be compatible with 007 as well!
    l & k – CCdM

  2. jumping clapping man on

    Boooo to NetFlix!

    And, love the tag suggestion Connie! I’ll def consider it.

    Haven’t seen “QoS” yet…but, will be sure to catch it on dvd, thanks to your tip off.


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