The Irish actor is compelling as a womanising professor who begins to realise his best days are over, with added Leonard Cohen
If Philip Roth had ever switched his attention from the great American novel and decided to write a lightweight indie dramedy, it might have turned out like this. Gabriel Byrne stars as poetry professor Samuel O’Shea, who is a cross between one of Roth’s protagonists and Keith Richards: a hard-drinking self-absorbed womaniser with a penchant for paisley scarves and chunky silver rings. It’s an insubstantial little film with slimly conceived characters, but Byrne adds at least 10 points to its IQ score and makes it twice as watchable.
Death of a Ladies’ Man begins promisingly enough when Sam walks into his Montreal apartment to find wife number two (she is half his age) in bed with another (even younger) man. Is it finally dawning on Sam that his charms no longer have the desired effect? That his narcissistic white masculinity is looking a bit 20th century? The evidence is everywhere: in a bar, his eye repeatedly wanders admiringly to a young woman reading a battered paperback. But instead of picking up the cue, she flicks Sam the finger. At the university, his gen-Z students look appalled by his drunken rock’n’roll lecture room style: throwing up in the bin and slurring scraps of poetry.
Continue reading… July 18, 2022 at 07:54PM Cath Clarke