Film Scouts Reviews

"The Grotesque"

by Henri Béhar

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Sting came, with wife Trudie, and a movie called "Grotesque". Alan Bates plays an decadent aristocrat (is there any other kind?) in a 500-year old mansion, who spends so much time dabbling in paleontology that he neglects his wife (Theresa Russell). Meanwhile his daughter (Lena Headey) is set to marry a young (and fey) poet named Sidney. Into this household comes a new butler Fledge (Sting) with his drunkard of a wife (Trudie Styler). Sneering, malevolent, and totally seductive, Fledge hungers to take control of the manor, and wastes no time doing it: Much like Terence Stamp in Pasolini's "Theorema", he humps everything that moves, and yes, that includes Sidney -- although as usual, Theresa Russell is the first to succumb to the butler's lustful, acrobatic attacks.

Sting can play the diabolically humpy universal donor before, and he could do it in his sleep (which he does). "Part satire, part gothic horror, part mystery--and all black comedy", per the Festival catalogue, "The Grotesque" would have worked had there been a director strong enough to wake Sting up and contain Alan Bates' all-over-the-place performance.

At the press conference, Trudie Styler, who also co-produced the film, stood up to show her five-month pregnancy. "We may call it Fledge", quipped the rock star-cum-thespian

(This article is just a portion of a larger article called "Elevators, Uma and Reviews" written by Henri Behar. It is contained in the "Film Scouts in Toronto" area under "Celebrities In Tow.")

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