Review: ‘A Broken Sole’

Three-part play-turned-DV-shot movie "A Broken Sole" statically limns Gothamites adrift in the aftermath of 9/11. In a series of two-handers, gifted thesps valiantly struggle to turn rotten lemons into lemonade, wringing pathos from producer/playwright Susan Charlotte's pretension-dripping lines, as unrelated personal tragedies pile atop 9/11 in paroxysms of quivering sensitivity. Helmer Antony Marsellis cuts between big closeups or portentously pans around a room, pausing significantly on "twin" pairs of objects (get it?). Pic, which opened Nov. 2 at New York City's Quad, will likely close precipitously.

Three-part play-turned-DV-shot movie “A Broken Sole” statically limns Gothamites adrift in the aftermath of 9/11. In a series of two-handers, gifted thesps valiantly struggle to turn rotten lemons into lemonade, wringing pathos from producer/playwright Susan Charlotte’s pretension-dripping lines, as unrelated personal tragedies pile atop 9/11 in paroxysms of quivering sensitivity. Helmer Antony Marsellis cuts between big closeups or portentously pans around a room, pausing significantly on “twin” pairs of objects (get it?). Pic, which opened Nov. 2 at New York City’s Quad, will likely close precipitously.

An opera-loving cobbler (Danny Aiello) and a film professor (Judith Light) with a broken sole (the line repeated with deepening significance lest anyone miss the pun) meet on the afternoon of 9/11. Initially hostile, duo gradually bonds around “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis,” finishing one another’s sentences in an orgy of mounting cinema appreciation. Next, Bob Dishy’s over-enunciating cabby perturbs nervous real-estate agent Laila Robins. Lastly, actress/anthropologist/travel agent Margaret Colin and dyslexic director John Shea repel and attract each other over palindromes and Pontecorvo. Leitmotifs (green shoes, Bertolucci, 9/11) sprout like bad running-gags throughout.

A Broken Sole

Production

A Prism Playhouse presentation of a Shoemaker/Broken Sole production. Produced by Susan Charlotte, Stan Cohen. Co-producers, Rosemarie and Lou Salvatore, Sylvia and David S. Steiner, Marguerite Jossel. Directed by Antony Marsellis. Screenplay, Susan Charlotte, from her play.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Dan Karlok, Ken H. Keller; editors, Robert Reitano, William Kelly, David Ray. Reviewed at Quad Cinema, New York, Nov. 3, 2007. Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Danny Aiello, Margaret Colin, Judith Light, Bob Dishy, Laila Robins, John Shea.
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