Set in the late 1940s, and attracting a talented ensemble cast, Married Life
surprisingly has slipped under the radar given the profile of those involved. After all, the cast features the likes of Pierce Brosnan, the always-wonderful Chris Cooper, the equally strong Patricia Clarkson, and Rachel McAdams too.
This company then come together in Married Life to explore the frailties and challenges of marriage, with Chris Cooper’s character soon wondering just how to go about leaving his wife, so that he can go to live with his girlfriend instead. That girlfriend also catches the eye of Brosnan, playing Cooper’s friend, and inevitably the complications build from there. Fortunately, director Ira Sachs (who also co-wrote the script) adeptly manages them, and it’s a film that gets through a lot, without ever losing you along the way.
The key strength of Married Life is its cast, who are on fine form here. The stand-outs are, inevitably, Chris Cooper, along with Patricia Clarkson, but it’s hard to fault the rest of the cast either. It takes one or two odd steps along the way, and the pacing occasionally gets a little uneven, but it’s a rich, bittersweet drama that’s got plenty up it sleeve. --Jon Foster
Noirish, blackly comic drama, set in pre-WWII America, in which a bored husband decides to poison his wife and then leave her for another woman. Middle-aged Harry Allen (Chris Cooper) has become smitten by leggy blonde Kay (Rachel McAdams) but unfortunately he's married to the faithful, but emotionally needy, Pat (Patricia Clarkson). Realising he can't put his wife, or himself, through the public indignity of a divorce, he decides to slowly poison her. Harry's planned bliss with Kay takes a wrong turn, however, when he mentions the plan to his best friend Richard (Pierce Brosnan), who immediately falls for the beauty himself. As the convoluted love-triangle gathers pace and Harry's efforts become more urgent, Richard comes up with his own devious scheme for winning Kay.