The duo behind My Dinner with Andre and Vanya on 42nd Street take on another classic of the stage in their big-screen Ibsen adaptation. This terrifically performed version of The Master Builder channels the rage, joy and delusions of an architect’s final days.
Jonathan Demme returns with his first fiction feature since Rachel Getting Married, benefitting from a superb cast that includes Wallace Shawn. The star would seem an unusual candidate to play Halvard Solness – a powerful architect who’s unable to come to terms with his misdeeds. Yet Shawn conveys a character whose mania seems to have no limits, as evidenced by his wife (Julie Hagerty), a browbeaten woman who sticks to the background until an unexpected guest arrives. The mysterious visitor, 22-year-old Hilda (Lisa Joyce), immediately ingratiates herself with Solness for reasons that soon become frighteningly clear.
Joyce brings enormous energy to the role. Her scenes opposite Shawn are filled with lust and loathing, creating a sense of disembodiment that will haunt the final acts.
The Hollywood Reporter
Please note that the festival is for over 18s only