A Robin Williams film for people who don't really like Robin Williams, this edgy adaptation of Saul Bellow's novel sees the star for once submerging his overpowering comic persona inside the demands of the role - and the result is certainly the least mannered, arguably the most effective performance of his screen career to date. Williams is Tommy Wilhelm, a failed actor hitting 40 and still scraping a buck selling children's furniture, who vainly looks to his successful doctor father (Wiseman) and a commodities broker pal (Stiller) to help him out of the mess his life's become. As a grim, compelling trudge through familiar Bellow neuroses, it makes for surprisingly uncompromising viewing.
Cast and crew
Jo Van Fleet