by / October 5th, 2009 /

The Inner Life Of Martin Frost

Review by on October 5th, 2009

The eponymous Frost (David Thewlis) is a novelist, worn out after three years of working on his latest book, who foregoes New York for the countryside, taking up residence in his friends’ empty country house to ‘live the life of a stone’. However, no sooner has he downed tools than our hero is inspired by a story idea that won’t let him rest until it’s finished. It’s now that he meets the mysterious Claire (Irene Jacob), supposedly the niece of the house’s owner, Diane, which sets in motion lots of old-fashioned kissing scenes of the closed mouth, black & white melodrama variety.

The enigmatic philosophy student, however, is far more than she appears, and in some of the most convoluted and clunky plot mechanics this side of a Marvel comic book, it transpires that she is, in fact, his muse come to life. If Frost finishes his story, she will die.

Auster’s film (which he also wrote) purports to be an existential mystery, and while there are shades of Beckett lurking in the glances and gaps between the dreary dialogue, Frost is at best an overly sentimental study for aspiring writers, directors and artists. It’s beautifully shot, with rich, vivid colour schemes very much the order of the day, but even the strong cinematography, the normally excellent Thewlis and a cameo from The Sopranos’ Michael Imperioli (as a plumber with scribbling ambitions of his own), can’t save this from wallowing in a swimming pool of self-indulgence.

Director: Paul Auster
Starring: David Thewlis, Irene Jacob, Michael Imperioli.
Running Time: 94 minutes.
Extras: Interview, Making Of, Stills.
For Fans Of: existentialism.