The Event

The Event
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  • Tendenza LGBTGGG
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The Event

Il film affronta la problematica dell’aids e dell’eutanasia, argomenti già trattati da film come It’s My Party, Philadelphia e il capostipite Longtime Companion, ma risulta interessante soprattutto per la rappresentazione dei personaggi e le loro interconnessioni. Il film, raccontato attraverso una lunga serie di flash-back, ha i suoi momenti migliori in una fitta serie di dialoghi, che permettono agli autori di esprimere le loro convinzioni (forse un po’ troppo partigiane), senza però diminuire la tensione drammatica di una storia relativamente semplice. Nicole (Parker Posey), chiamata Nick, assitente del procuratore distrettuale, ritorna al lavoro dopo una licenza per la morte del padre seguita ad una lunga malattia. Il suo primo incarico è quello d’investigare sulla sospetta morte del ventenne Matt Shapiro (Don McKellar), un violoncellista gay già abbastanza famoso, con Aids conclamata, che si sarebbe suicidato in un appartamento di Manhattan. Nick però è allarmata dal fatto che i risultati tossicologici di Matt sono simili a quelli di altre tre recenti morti, tutti casi di Aids avanzata seguiti nello stesso Centro gestito dal dott. Brian (Brent Carver), intimo amico di Matt. Nick inizia con l’intervistare la madre di Matt (Olympia Dukakis), una donna ebrea molto liberale, la sorella Dana (Sarah Polley), molto affezionata a Matt, la sorella più anziana Gaby (Joanna P. Adler), che invece non condivideva le scelte di Matt, e alcuni amici intimi. In breve tempo Nick si convince di essere davanti ad un grave reato, un suicidio assistito con la partecipazione di parenti e amici, culminato in una notte particolare, una festa chiamata “The Event”… L’ossatura del film non è comunque l’investigazione, usata come artificio per raccontarci i momenti salienti della vita di Matt e delle sue relazioni, come il suo coming out con la madre o la scena in cui le dichiara di stare morendo di aids. Da rilevare l’abilità magistrale della Dukakis nel trasformare il suo personaggio, evitando qualsiasi stereotipo, in una figura complessa e intrigante.




An intense relationship drama that takes the form of a mystery, The Event centers around a series of unexplained deaths that occur among the gay community in New York’s fashionable Chelsea district. Nick, a district attorney investigating the most recent case, a suspicious apparent suicide, and her interviews with friends and family of the deceased trigger extensive and intricately interwoven flashbacks that reveal surprising facts about the man’s life and death. (Imdb)


The interesting thing about The Event is that it stars the quintessentially Canadian Don McKellar as a lifelong New Yorker, an odd casting choice to say the least. But it works, mostly because McKellar gives a performance that’s far better than anything he’s done before (the guy can act). The “event” refers to a party being given by Matt (McKellar), who’s dying of AIDS, as he commemorates his own suicide. The film’s told mostly in flashback, as an Assistant District Attorney (Parker Posey) investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding Matt’s death (was it really a suicide or did someone help him?) We meet the various figures in Matt’s life, most notably his loyal mother (Olympia Dukakis) and former lover (Brent Carver), while the A.D.A. digs deeper into the facts. The Event likely marks Thom Fitzgerald’s most accessible work, especially when you consider a film like The Hanging Garden (calling that flick obtuse is putting it midly). Though there are a number of quirky plot interruptions that are more distracting than anything else (a sequence involving preperations for Matt’s party is the most glaring example of this), the movie works best during instances of dialogue between the characters. And while Posey tries awfully hard to come off as a tough-as-nails lawyer, she never quite pulls it off (not to mention the fact that her character arc feels incredibly forced). But the other actors fare much better, especially Dukakis. She takes a character that could’ve been a stereotypical Jewish mother and turns her into someone that’s far more intriguing. It’s because of Dukakis’ sturdy performance that certain cloying moments never come off quite as badly as one might expect – such as the sequence in which she bakes marijuana-laced cookies for Matt. On the whole, The Event is worth a look for the performances; the storyline doesn’t have much in the way of innovation to offer. (Jan Schutte, Reel Film Review – voto 2,5/4)

If this bittersweet comedy about the mysterious death of a New York City musician seems a little anachronistic, it only goes to prove writer-director Thom Fitzgerald’s point. The AIDS crisis isn’t over, despite the fact that movies-of-the-week and noble Hollywood features on the subject are a thing of the past. Back on the job after taking bereavement leave following the death of her father, assistant D.A. Nicole “Nick” Di Vivo (Parker Posey) is assigned to look into the death of Matthew Shapiro (Don McKellar), a well-known cellist who was found dead in his Chelsea apartment. His death looks like a routine suicide, but a few things about the case make Nick more than a little suspicious. Shapiro’s toxicology report bears a striking resemblance to those of three other recent sudden deaths, and all four decedents were clients at an AIDS treatment center run by Matthew’s friend, Brian (Brent Carver). All had been living with HIV, all were in the advanced stages of full-blown AIDS at the times of their deaths. After interviewing Matthew’s mother, Lila (Olympia Dukakis), his younger sister, Dana (Sarah Polley), and a few of his friends, Nick begins to suspect that a crime was committed, but it was second-degree manslaughter, not murder. Assisted suicide, to be exact, a class C felony in the State of New York. Nick’s suspicions are confirmed when Matthew’s older sister Gaby (Joanna P. Adler) sends Nick a discarded invitation to “The Event,” a celebration held at Matthew’s apartment on the date of his death. It seems Matthew’s friends not only helped him die, but threw him a big party at the same time. Having recently lost her father to a long, terminal illness, Nick is appalled; she can’t understand why anyone would take such a cowardly way out, and is determined to bring whoever helped him do it to justice. Fitzgerald structures the film exactly like a police thriller, using the interrogation of suspects and multiple flashbacks to reconstruct the circumstances surrounding Matthew’s death. At the same time, however, he reconstitutes the man’s life and offers us a timely reminder of the devastation AIDS brings to everyone it touches. There’s a lot of talent on display here: Dukakis has never been better and once again Fitzgerald proves himself to be a filmmaker of unfailing sensitivity, capable of transforming what could have been distastefully flip or overly lachrymose into something humorous but deeply heartfelt. (Ken Fox, TVGuide – voto 3,5/4)

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