Every artist needs a Borgia; for a struggling Southern California painter (Wes Bentley), that patron saint is Warner Dax (Frank Langella), a mysterious man of means. The older gentleman keeps commissioning his ward to videotape seemingly unrelated occurrences: a particular playgound jungle gym, a specific tour at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. There’s a reason for his eccentric requests, of course, and most viewers will solve the puzzle early on. Except once they’ve done that, they won’t find much here besides Langella’s typically austere performance, some lazy character sketches (what’s up with the one-note shrewish wife?) and the sensation one gets after having watched paint dry, painfully slowly, on a canvas.
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