Elyse is a new drama, directed by Anthony Hopkins‘ missus, Stella Hopkins, and filmed partially in black and white, for example with the opening scene highlighing the red on a vase of roses, and a bike, outside.
Our titular lead, portrayed by Lisa Pepper, lives in a very art deco-style houses, but doesn’t seem the slightest bit happy about it. In fact, this film starts like one of those ’80s art-house-style adverts, which were basically a parody on Last Year In Marienbad – a fact I only realised once I saw that film, and realised that was the only decent thing about it.
In this case, later, she gets home and her husband has invited her mother over for dinner:
- Steven: “Where have you been?”
That’s about the level of conversation for much of the film. For her, she overacts, while everyone else is more muted, but everyone acts as if they’re in a bad student production.
At one point, Elyse says, “The truth is, I feel like I’m slowly losing my mind”. I felt like I was losing the will to live.
At another, Steven says to Carmen, “This house is an empty shell of vanished dreams”. Given that at another point, we see someone in a catatonic state, I was starting to wonder if it was myself.
In fact, the endless navel-gazing just needed Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie No.1 playing in the background. Instead, this had some piano music from Anthony Hopkins, himself.
The only gravitas comes from Hopkins, himself, as he plays the psychiatrist, Dr. Philip Lewis, to whom she goes to speak for an appointment. He pops up again later, and there’s a change in the film’s direction around halfway where the film goes into colour, and has a slight change in pace (I’ll leave the reason for you to discover), but apart from Mr Hopkins, there’s no change in acting ability.
I was really looking forward to this, given the male lead’s oustanding, Oscar-winning performance in The Father, but while that film is sure to be my favourite of the year, this cinematic outing is beyond tedious and a shoe-in for contender for the worst.
And even for a family with tragedy to reveal, there’s not a single likeable character in this, aside from that played by Anthony Hopkins.
Elyse is released on Amazon Video on Monday May 31st.
Check out the trailer below:
Running time: 95 minutes
Release date: May 31st 2021
Studio: Margam Films
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Director: Stella Hopkins
Producers: Tara Arroyave, Anthony Hopkins, Stella Hopkins, Aaron Tucker
Story: Stella Hopkins
Screenplay: Stella Hopkins, Audrey Arkins
Music: Anthony Hopkins
Dr. Philip Lewis: Anthony Hopkins
Elyse Bridges: Lisa Pepper
Steven Bridges: Aaron Tucker
Carmen Luna: Tara Arroyave
Goldie Madison: Fran Tucker
David Gabriel: Anthony Apel
Julia Luna: Julieta Ortiz
Dr. Rosenthal: Danny Jacobs
Nurse Jen: Susan Papa
Cody Bridges: Griffin Thomas Hollander
Jeff Bloom: Connor Garelick
Michael Davis: Everett Kelsey
Female Patient: Natalia Tucker
Physical Therapist: Annette Dugan
Security Guard: Riccardo Spinotti
Santa’s Helper: Daisy Barber
Cocktail Waitress: Diana Arroyave
Nurse Stephanie: Brittani Ebert
Jack Collins: Donat Balaj (uncredited)
Dinner Guest: David M Jackson (uncredited)
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.