Bernard Rose and Danny Huston, back together for another updating of Tolstoy, haven't quite achieved the poisonous allure of their earlier Ivans xtc (2000).
Huston plays Edgar Hudson, vain, controlling, insecure – and madly jealous. A few years back he won and married a concert pianist, Abby (Elisabeth Röhm), in the belief that "someone so talented had to have a deep and kind soul". Whether she does or not, Edgar has now persuaded himself that the young virtuoso violinist (Matthew Yang King) he hired to play for his charitable foundation is cuckolding him. Rose spices up the story of their marriage with flashes of ecstatic sex, but there isn't enough involvement in character beyond Huston's self-tormenting voiceover. The scent of LA affluence – Edgar and Abby live in a smart modernist house – and the rehearsals of the eponymous Beethoven sonata are but a small distraction from the towering monotony of one man's pathological obsession (and in textbook fashion, the husband almost wants to find out that the wife is unfaithful). Not Tolstoyan.
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