Gary Hart to Sheldon Silver -- and, oh, so many in between -- the supposedly powerful figures of the western world discover their own feet of clay, as the rest of us rejoice as much in their fall as we appeared to do in their rise. Certainly one of the more interesting of these figures is Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the fellow who was appar-ently being groomed as the next leader of France, scheduled by the French "left" to take over after Sarkozy's upcoming ouster. Well, that didn't happen.
set-up job by the opposing party (or maybe someone within Strauss-Kahn's own, or even the good 'ol USA) to the fellow's rather obvious proclivity for sodden misbehavior. In his new movie WELCOME TO NEW YORK, filmmaker Abel Ferrara (shown at right), while giving a nod here and there to economics, politics and social unrest, is really most interested in the "sex addiction" theory associated with our famous Frenchman, along with its accom-panying guilt and shame. Given Ferrara's oeuvre and obsessions, this is not surprising. What is, however, is how much of a major shrug his movie turns out to be.
Gérard Depardieu (above, right, and below) as Strauss-Kahn (here called by the name of Deveraux) and Jacqueline Bisset (above, left) as his wife -- the film takes on immediate interest, if only for its smart casting. Beyond this, however, while not unwatchable, Welcome to New York grows tiresome well before it concludes.
Sundance Selects/IFC Films and running a too-long, two-hours-and-five-minutes -- opens this Friday, March 27, at San Francisco's Roxie Theater. Simultaneously, you'll also be able to see the film via VOD in most major markets. A further, if limited, theatrical rollout is expected over the weeks to come. Or not (See below).
Addendum: Now that is has come to the fore that filmmaker Ferrara is very displeased with re-cut version released by the distributor, perhaps the above review is not indicative of the "real" movie. Though from what I could gather from the report in The New York Times, Ferrara's reasons given do not sound, to my mind, as if they would make the movie much better. Read the Times story here, then make your own judgment. In any case, I found it very odd that IFC was suddenly not opening the film theatrically in either NYC or L.A. Now we know why.