Almost everyone has enjoyed vivid fantasies involving the girls or guys of their dreams. Sometimes these figments are so real that you could swear both Margaret Thatcher and Cheetara are right there in your bedroom.… In The Inner Life of Martin Frost, Paul Auster questions the generally accepted notion of love and relationships. His film prompts the question: Does “real” romance necessarily require more than one person?
Martin Frost (Thewlis) has just completed his new novel and is in dire need of rest. Craving solitude, he moves into his friends’ country house while they’re away. The author plans on vegging out and recharging his artistic batteries, but a writer’s wheels are always turning. His treasured privacy is violated when Claire (Jacob) suddenly appears. Predictably, they fall in love, but Claire is not quite what she appears, and soon fiction and reality come to an existential impasse.
Auster—lately a one-trick pony as an author—makes no significant creative jumps to go with the change in medium. The novelty of his postmodern sketches of inner reality has worn a bit thin, and his daughter’s appearance toward the film’s end just screams budget cut. Like Frost, Auster probably needs to find a new muse.