The Inner Life of Martin Frost (2007) Poster

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6/10
Embedded ghostly stories
rasecz23 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
After spending three years writing his latest novel, Martin Frost is ready for some R&R. A friend lends him a country home. Martin settles in to enjoy some solitude. Yet his writer's mind is not quiet and new ideas for novels pop up. He embarks on a forty page short story. What results is the film.

The architecture is that of embedded stories: a writer writes about a writer that writes about... The execution is through the conventional trick of dreams. Within dreams, anything goes and the real can be abandoned. And there is where the film began to rub me.

Apparitions, spells and ghosts are not my cup of tea. Granted the story has clever elements and some humorous moments provided by the Fortunato character. But overall the film falls flat.

The story is supposed to take place somewhere in the US. However I could not square the odd vegetation with any place in North America. The credits solve the mystery. The film was shot in Portugal.

The best thing about this film is the music by Petitgand, especially the piano parts. Lovely music!
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6/10
hail a film that shut up Manohla Dargis
mgdu23 March 2007
what motivated me up to the new director's festival to catch 'martin frost' tonight was the brutal review that it got yesterday from the lead critic of the new york times, brutal dismissal, to be more accurate, 'the less said about (it) the better', she said, and i figured that any movie able to teach Ms Dargis the virtue of silence for even a few column inches would be worth the trip.

and worth the trip it was. we are brought into a paradise of limpidly beautiful visual textures. the oaken rhythms of a country house ensconced in a springtime parkland of luxuriant trees and luminous skies bestow the soothing natural blessing needed by the main character, martin frost (David Thewlis), a writer rubbed raw by the mechanics of finishing a novel in new york city. (Thewlis makes palpable the casualty of intrapsychic machinery sawed into daemonic reverb against the banausic hive). then paradise morphs into purgatory, leavened comedically, in Dante's sense, by the postmodern angelic visitations of Claire (Irene Jacobs) and Anna (Sophie Auster).

unfortunately, to my taste, the verbal dimensions of the film are flaccid, the logic more fanciful than imaginative, the narrative arc crippled by some irredeemably creaky plotting, especially at the crucial initiation of the relationship between martin and Claire where the seeds of common sense are thrown to the magpies of theatricality.

but so beguiling is the willful vulnerability of auster's fantasy, and the edgy interplay that it potentiates between Thewlis and Jacobs, and the camera, and later Sophie Auster, and the broad comedy of a rural everyman (Michael Imperioli), that it is very pleasant to be carried along on the visual foam of uncertain sensual delight, eddying into a feeling that this film's oddly louche light touch is uniquely adept at tracing some grave lineaments of the human heart.

go innocently.
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8/10
David Thewlis Filmography Project
gink1027 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
#6 The Inner Life of Martin Frost

Martin Frost = The Introspective Character

Pros: David is Martin, a famous writer who without any inspiration goes a weekend to a country house to refresh his ideas to write again, being there he will live a very special situation, which can be just his own imagination... a rather indie/experimental film, so if you want to see it don't expect something so easy. Irene Jacob is a beautiful actress, she does a very good job, she and David have great scenes, like when he tries to return to New York and the tire breaks down, I felt empty and melancholy to see poor Martin go for a new tire and she leaves him desperately, like the fantasy scenes when Martin dreams of talking to Claire separated by the door are for me undoubtedly the most interesting moments of the whole film.

Cons: Only one thing...... Michael Imperioli! When he appears, the film goes down. I'm sorry but he kills me all the romance and fantasy that the film had, Jim Fortunato is annoying! this character is the typical male stereotype of the Italian-American neighbor, the dialogues between him and Martin are boring they seem to be written spontaneously and improvised, if his character had never appeared the film has been much better, the end of the film is good and catches my attention, but instinct again, this ends very abruptly.
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