Alexander the Last (2009)

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Alexander the Last (2009). Alexander the Last: Directed by Joe Swanberg. With Jess Weixler, Justin Rice, Barlow Jacobs, Amy Seimetz. An ensemble drama about a married actress, her sister and their myriad sexual and creative temptations.

“Joe Swanberg has previously used the plot device of a woman torn between two competing romantic prospects in his shamefully weak 2007 film u0026#39;Hannah Takes The Stairsu0026#39;. Itu0026#39;s a theme that has been used in drama and literature for centuries, but u0026#39;Alexander The Lastu0026#39; provides a fresh perspective on the old double-backed beast, and also reveals an exponential growth in the directoru0026#39;s film-making sophistication since his earlier project. The film opens with a pair of attractive sisters making vows of life-long loyalty to one another. One of them is Alex, a young married actress who has just been hired for a fringe drama production, while her musician husband prepares to depart on a tour. When the theater rehearsals commence, Alex becomes friendly with Jamie, an actor who is playing the part of her stage lover. Jamie is from out of town, so Alex invites him to sleep on the sofa at her apartment. Later, with ambivalent motives, she decides to hook him up with her sister, just as the two actors begin work on an intimate love-scene for their play. By the time her husband returns from his tour, Alex is completely disoriented, unable to separate her stage characteru0026#39;s issues from her own.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eJess Weixler depicts Alexu0026#39;s inner turmoil with her customary sensitivity and skill, as this sympathetic young woman becomes increasingly confused by a heady cocktail of lust, jealousy and guilt. When her repressed conflict does flare up for a brief moment, its effect is shockingly intense due to the filmu0026#39;s casually naturalistic style. Just as dramatic artifice had provoked his actress heroineu0026#39;s earlier bewilderment, Swanberg neatly utilizes the same method to resolve matters at the filmu0026#39;s conclusion. Itu0026#39;s a rewarding experience to see an artist mature before oneu0026#39;s eyes – and u0026#39;Alexander The Lastu0026#39; leaves one eagerly anticipating Swanbergu0026#39;s next project.”


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