The Merry Gentleman

Michael Keaton ("Multiplicity" and "Mr. Mom") directs and stars in this gripping drama which showcases the talents of its two leads, Mr. K himself and the wonderful Scotswoman Kelly Macdonald ("Gosford Park" and "No Country for Old Men").

This movie may be short on glamour, but is long on talent and plot:
  • Keaton is an icy assassin whose cover job is that of a tailor in an upscale men's shop.
  • Macdonald is the abused wife of a policeman.
  • Bobby Cannavale ("The Station Agent") is her violent husband.
  • Tom Bastounes ("The Opera Lover") is a policeman investigating an assassination.
  • Darlene Hunt ("Idiocracy") is a coworker at the wife's new job.

Because of the "Blue Shield" among the cops, Macdonald knows, correctly, that her husband will not be restrained by his fellow officers, so she flees. She moves to another city, finds a job and creates a new life for herself. During her first Holiday season spent alone, she buys an inappropriately big Christmas tree and is struggling to get it into her apartment. Keaton is at hand, so he offers to help.

This is an opportunity for two gifted people to show us their stuff: flawless acting; long takes with no cuts or editing; no nudity or car chases; no blowie uppie stuff (only two gun shots); and our tough screening crowd applauded when the final credits started to roll. The movie wrapped in 2008 and was shown at Sundance at that time. It seems to be doing a slow rollout with limited release dates, but I hope it gets some attention; I highly recommend it.