The Architect

2006

Drama

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Anthony LaPaglia as Leo Waters
Viola Davis as Tonya Neely
Isabella Rossellini as Julia Waters
Hayden Panettiere as Christina Waters
720p 1080p
599.36 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 22 min
P/S 0 / 0
1.20 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 22 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gradyharp 9 / 10

A Small Independent Film with a Big Message

THE ARCHITECT is a film based on a play by David Grieg that deals with social class dichotomy, lack of communication in families, gender confrontations in youths, and coming to grips with decisions of the past that later haunt. Made on a budget less than a million dollars and shot in twenty days, this unique little movie packs a wallop in the most secretive and subtle way. Directed by Matt Tauber, who also wrote the screenplay with Grieg, it has a fascinating, if at times disconcerting, format of quick scenes flashed before our eyes like simultaneous conversations - and some of the power of the film is piecing those snapshots together as the film ends.

Leo Waters (Anthony LaPaglia) is a successful architect, married to a wife Julia (Isabella Rossellini) who seems on the edge of mental instability. They have two teenage children - Christine (a very fine young actress Hayden Panettiere) who at age 15 is aware of her body and yet fearful of its implications in her interactions with boys and men, and Martin (Sebastian Stan) who has returned home from school as a drop out whose mind is preoccupied with soul searching. The discord at home is matched by the incipient calamity ongoing at a Project Leo designed early in his career, a Project now physically crumbling under the weight of drug dealing, crime, and discontent tenants - all led by activist Tonya Neeley (the superb actress Viola Davis) who has one daughter at home with an early conceived baby and another daughter who has stepped out of the Projects to better her education (her twin brother committed suicide in despair of his plight in the Projects). Two families in conflict over different reasons on the surface but sharing a similarity that is demonstrated as the story proceeds.

Christina naively begins to frequent bars and is protected by a truck driver Joe (the very fine actor Walton Goggins) who kindly introduces her to the realities facing hormonally charged yet fearful young girls. Martin, in an attempt to understand the Projects problem as explained to his father and family by Tonya, visits the Projects and meets Shawn (the very fine and handsome young actor Paul James) who cautiously helps Martin discover his sexuality only to succeed in allowing Martin to discover his true sexual proclivity but meets a sad ending when he is rebuffed.

At the peak of tensions Tonya succeeds in winning over Leo's understanding of her activist dilemma, Julia breaks and leaves her family and both of Leo's children discover life lessons that will imprint their psyches permanently. Minor victories rise out of major turmoil - and the writer and director have the courage to leave the story for us to resolve.

It is refreshing to encounter a cast of actors so sensitive as this one. From the leading roles to the most minor of characters the acting is absolutely first rate. We need more films of this caliber to remind us that one of the purposes of art is to allow us to see the problems of our world. Highly recommended. Grady Harp

Reviewed by janet-55 8 / 10

"...but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

In this film each unhappy family is, to a greater or lesser extent, the architect of its own demise.Many people have criticised the film for not saying much, or for being overloaded with story lines; for not following through or following through too explicitly. All in all it clearly confuses and divides people. I think there is a problem and it is not the movie that has the problem but the audience.This story touches on some of the last taboos in cinema namely the actual visualisation of homosexual sex, and even worse in the eyes of the beholders it addresses incest. The cross cultures/cross races thing seems to me to be a side issue to the main problem illustrated here which is that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way to quote Tolstoy (apt here as Shawn the black homosexual is reading "Anna Karenina" at one point in the action, and like Anna unable to come to terms with himself and the world in which he lives, eventually commits suicide.)The film comes originally from a stage play set in Glasgow. Some of the dialogue has been lifted straight from the play and so can sound a little stilted, but in my opinion this device helps to maintain the necessary distance between the action and the audience. This plainly is an allegorical piece, each actor fulfils a function rather than a character but the story is none the worse for that; many art house movies do likewise. It is the subject matter here that is so difficult. As for the actual movie, it looks good, in fact is amazing considering it was shot in 20 days in New York masquerading as Chicago (I assume to keep the costs down). The acting by the whole ensemble is excellent. And I think one has to give Anthony LaPaglia especial praise as the Architect in question clearly in the grip of an incestuous passion. This cannot be an easy kind of role for any actor to play, but, as one has come to expect of Mr LaPaglia, he carries it off to perfection which may go a long way to explain the uncomfortableness felt by some moviegoers. Within his oeuvre this film seems almost like a companion piece to the more hopeful "Winter Solstice". My advice to anyone wishing to see "The Architect" would be to go along with an open mind, expect to be challenged and perhaps you'll come away with the same feelings as me, that this is a good film, a thought-provoking film but not one to watch just for the pure fun of it, go and see Mr LaPaglia's other current film "Happy Feet" if you want that!

Reviewed by Matti Czaja 5 / 10

potentially decent

I thought that the premise of the movie was very interesting and a good reflection of how living conditions, (less then the architecture itself) affect social interaction and psychology. The activist claims that people in the projects are "piled" on top of each other and I thought it was an accurate description of the reality of public housing. The rest of the movie was less interesting and confusing at times. The mother and daughter characters were seemingly out of place, especially the mother's character. The sexual overtones were likewise somewhat difficult to connect with the story. I think more could've been done to develop what started off as a good story about a compelling urban issue.

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