EDMOND is a dark, dank, mercilessly downer of a film - that just happens to be one of the best pieces of work the very talented William H. Macy has ever done. In a bravura performance he embodies the strange creature created by David Mamet, triumphs in the extended monologues that include hate, racism, homophobia, hopelessness, and fear and serves them up in a near stoic way that allows the viewer to accompany the dissociating man into the depths of hell - but with an absolutely solid ending. It may not be an easy movie to watch, but it is clearly one actor's tour de force that deserves attention.
Edmond (Macy) is a bored, frustrated. angry robot of a worker who happens on a fortune teller who reads his Tarot cards and tells him he is in the wrong place. Edmond, obviously disturbed, goes home, leaves his wife who no longer stimulates him spiritually or sensuously, and begins his Rake's Progress journey through the bowels of the filthy city. He has a bar conversation with an anonymous guy (Joe Montegna) who advises him to go get laid, gives him an address, and disappears. What follows is a series of bad encounters with hookers, peep show dancers, sidewalk con artists, and pimps: Edmond spits out vitriolic racist epithets, is beaten and robbed, pawns his ring, buys a vicious knife, and begins his retribution - a path that includes murder and prison. As he ultimately finds his prison cell the only place of rest he can tolerate, in comes a cellmate (African American of course) and after an abusive start, Edmond shaves his head, gets tattooed and the story closes in a rather tender fashion.
The cast is superb: the vignettes of the characters Edmond encounters include Mena Suvari, Julia Stiles, Bokeem Woodbine, Rebecca Pidgeon, along with other less well known but equally fine actors. Stuart Gordon directs Mamet's play-to-film story with the right amount of bluntness and dark, smarmy street situations. But it is Macy who is uncanny in his ability to carry us along the warped and disintegrating mind of the character who could be any of a number standing next to us in an elevator....A tough film but well worth viewing. Grady Harp, October 06