The Reeler

Recent Comments


A Girl and a Gun
Ain't It Cool News
Alliance of Women Film Journalists
Anne Thompson
Art Fag City
Better Than Fudge
Big Picture Big Sound
Bitter Cinema
Blank Screen
Brian Flemming
Bright Lights
Celluloid Eyes
Chutry Experiment, The
Cinema Confidential
Cinema Eye
Coming Soon
Cool Cinema Trash
Cyndi Greening
Dark Horizons
Drew's Blog-O-Rama
Esoteric Rabbit
Film Detail
Film Experience, The
Film Journal, The
Film Journey
Film Stew
Film Rotation
GreenCine Daily
Hacking Netflix
Hammer to Nail
High Sign, The
Hollywood Elsewhere
House Next Door, The
IFC Blog, The
In the Company of Glenn
IndieScene Movie Marketing Blog
indieWIRE Blogs
Jay's Movie Blog
JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Kaiju Shakedown
Like Anna Karina's Sweater
Last Night with Riviera
Light Sleeper
Long Pauses
Masters of Cinema
Matt Zoller Seitz
Midnight Eye
Milk Plus
Mind Jack
Movie Blog, The
Movie City Indie
Movie Hole, The
Movie Poop Shoot
New York Cool
NY Post Movie Blog
News of the Dead
No More Marriages!
Notes From Underdog
Out of Focus
Persistence of Vision
Queer Film Review
Reel Roundtable
Screen Rush
Screener (Film Journal Int.)
Screening the Past
Self-Styled Siren
Short Sheet, The
Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine Blog
Still in Motion
Stranger Song, The
They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?
Tisch Film Review
Vince Keenan
World Film (at
You Know, For Film

The Reeler Blog

Sleuth Sorts it Out in Chelsea

By Ben Gold

A crowd gathered outside the Chelsea West Cinema last night for Variety / Museum of Moving Image's preview of Sleuth, a psychological-thriller/comedy (not necessarily in that order) starring Michael Caine and Jude Law as two men engaged in a mind-bending battle for possession of the same woman, all taking place in a weird postmodern house. The line extended down the sidewalk, with clusters of women queued for their chance to catch a glimpse of three generations of British heartthrob -- Law, Caine and director Branagh -- set to make an appearance. Alas, disappointment extinguished the fire in their loins: Jude Law would not be appearing. Sighs were heard as far as the Meatpacking District.

"I made you -- I can break you!" Michael Caine has it out for Harold Pinter as (L-R) moderator David Schwartz and director Kenneth Branagh look on (Photo: WireImage)

Disappointment subsided, however, once Branagh and Caine made their way to the front of the auditorium following the film. Among their first points: Don't call this a remake. Yes, there's the 1972 version starring Caine and Laurence Olivier, and yes, they're both based on Anthony Shaffer's play. But the Sleuth of 2007 claims a good deal the other cannot, namely a script by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter. Caine was reluctant to star in the re--, er, new Sleuth until he learned of Pinter's involvement. "Jude (also a producer) came and said, 'How do you feel about remaking Sleuth?' " Caine told the crowd. "I didn't want to be rude, so I said, 'That sounds like a good idea.' We were having dinner and nearly at the end of the meal; I thought I could hold him off for dessert and be OK. But then he said he had a script by Harold Pinter, and I said 'Aah -- that's different."

It turned out that Caine's desire to work with Pinter wasn't exactly new. "I knew Harold," Caine continued. "He was an actor, and he eventually wrote a one-act play called The Room, which I did. And then for 50 years he wrote all this great stuff and I was never offered a single part! I felt like saying, 'I made you -- I can break you!' "

One of the most important characters in Sleuth, though, didn't have any lines: the architecturally adventurous house where the film is set. "The house is an extension of Wyke's personality," Branagh said of Caine's character. "All the art you see on the walls? All of that is to try and create this gladiatorial environment in which the actors could be very real, [and] create an atmosphere where the audience was in the game."

There is another silent character as well: the woman around whom the conflict revolves. And though she never appears on screen, it didn't keep Caine from creating his own image. "I always thought it was Nicole Kidman," he said.

Posted at October 4, 2007 7:12 AM

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Search The Reeler
Join the Mailing List

RSS Feed


Send a Tip