large_SOME_VELVET_MORNING_1_pubsTo say SOME VELVET MORNING is a different sort of film is an understatement.  Its director, Neil LaBute has maintained his status as a provacateur,  ‘sit has characters that make you want to reach through the screen and choke to death, and a premise that doesn’t evoke any particular interest.  Yet somehow, it’s one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

On a beautiful sunny morning, Velvet’s doorbell rings.  When she opens her door to greet whomever is there, she discovers Fred.  Fred is a former lover of Velvet’s whom she hasn’t spoken with in 4 years.  He’s left his wife and wants to rekindle the flame between them that has long been extinguished, but there is more to their relationship than meets the eye.

There is something inherently charming about SOME VELVET MORNING.  The film takes place in one apartment, with only two characters.  The 82 minute runtime consists of two people hammering out a very peculiar situation.  In the hands of another director, this may have come across as rather dull and unassuming.  With Neil LaBute at the helm, it’s a riotously dark character study with an exceptionally written script.  It’s also a welcome return to form for the celebrated director, who hasn’t delivered a film this solid in several years.  As Fred and Velvet hurl insults and off-color jokes at each other, you can’t help but be drawn in by their obvious contempt/attraction towards one another.

The credit for this film lies completely in the hands of the two actors who play out this searing dialogue, Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci.  As Velvet, Eve presents a character who isn’t completely without faults, but insists on trying to make the best of a bad situation.  She cares for Fred, but obviously not as much as he cares for her.  You empathize with her greatly as Fred manically tries every way possible he can to get under her skin.  That’s where Stanley Tucci is at his best.

There is likely nobody better for the role of Fred than Stanley Tucci.  He adds another wonderful character to his near-legendary repertoire.  Fred is a self-absorbed bastard who constantly seeks emotional validation, this much is true.  He looks for Velvet’s weaknesses and exploits them as a penalty for her not reciprocating his love for her.  He systematically wears her down (emotionally and physically), and it’s a delight to watch Tucci indulge in such a despicable character.

The end of the film will no doubt draw a heavy amount of discussion and criticism.  We are delivered quite a curve-ball, and it’s definitely not anything I would have expected.  It’s best left up to the viewer whether or not it was entirely necessary. In conclusion, SOME VELVET MORNING is a lot better than the sum of its parts and definitely worth watching.