Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Robert Sean Leonard
Widescreen, closed caption.
|Released shortly after his puckishly creative digital video/animation mix "Waking Life," director Richard Linklater's claustrophobic three-person drama about control and perception is an auspicious shift to a sparse, low-tech mode. "Tape," adapted from Stephen Belber's sharp-minded play, pins a lot on the interaction among performers Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman (Hawke's wife in real life) and Robert Sean Leonard for its potency. Fortunately, the actors come through. The plot involves a rising young director (Leonard) whose appearance at a film festival provides him the opportunity for a reunion with an estranged high-school friend (Hawke). The encounter is unexpectedly strained, and the ante is upped with the arrival of a woman (Thurman) that they both dated during senior year. Shot entirely in a dingy motel room, the movie is a revelatory psychological drama that benefits from biting dialogue and some unexpected reversals. It's an effective illustration of the adage, "The past is always with us."|