DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
International DVDs
Theatrical
Adult
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
XCritic.com
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Special Offer

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Dying Gaul
The Dying Gaul
Sony Pictures // R // March 21, 2006
List Price: $24.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Preston Jones | posted March 10, 2006 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
The Movie

"No one goes to the movies to have a bad time or to learn anything." – Jeffrey Tishop (Campbell Scott), The Dying Gaul

Acclaimed playwright Craig Lucas ("Prelude To A Kiss") makes his feature film debut adapting The Dying Gaul for the screen and directing the incendiary trio of Peter Sarsgaard, Campbell Scott and Patricia Clarkson. A venomous drama that jabs mid-Nineties Hollywood while using it as a backdrop for a malicious little thriller, The Dying Gaul is explosive, dense entertainment that surprises you in ways you don't see coming.

Sarsgaard stars as grieving screenwriter Robert Sandrich, whose screenplay (which serves as the film's title) has just crossed the desk of hotshot executive Jeffrey Tishop (Scott) – Jeffrey's interested in the script, save for the narrative dealing with a homosexual relationship. If Robert acquiesces and makes his homosexual couple straight, Jeffrey will pay a million dollars for The Dying Gaul. Along the way, Robert becomes enmeshed in an increasingly uncertain relationship with both Jeffrey and his wife, former screenwriter Elaine (Clarkson), which builds to a devastating conclusion.

There's much more to discuss, of course, not the least of which is Lucas' assured screenplay that deftly plays with expectations, but with The Dying Gaul, the less you know going in, the more you can appreciate the tightening of the psychological screws – the trio of main characters are finely wrought, thanks to deeply felt, wonderfully live-wire performances from Sarsgaard, Clarkson and Scott. Each has a moment or two to shine, be it Sarsgaard's wounded hallucinations, Clarkson's wrenching confrontations or Scott's oily sadism.

Craig Lucas' The Dying Gaul is spiky, poignant and utterly compelling – a subtle damnation of Hollywood's traditional ways yet shot through with a progressive tweak of thriller conventions, it's a film that will haunt you long after its shattering finale.

The DVD

The Video:

Presented with a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, The Dying Gaul looks fairly sharp, save for a few flecks and instances of dirt on the otherwise defect-free image. Bobby Bukowski's evocative cinematography looks gorgeous here.

The Audio:

A talky affair, The Dying Gaul doesn't make much use of the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack included, but Steve Reich's mournful score does a nice job of filling in around Lucas' piercing dialogue. English subtitles are also included.

The Extras:

While it would've been nice to have Lucas and any member of the cast sit for a commentary track, Sony doles out a few supplements that leave you wanting more: a six minute, 15 second alternate ending which dilutes the impact of the theatrical ending, presented in non-anamorphic widescreen, is included as are three deleted scenes, playable separately in non-anamorphic widescreen. Trailers for Where The Truth Lies, The Confessor, Chasing Ghosts, The Tenants and Saint Ralph round out the disc.

Final Thoughts:

A minor masterpiece of mood, tone and acting, The Dying Gaul is a subtle stunner that lingers long after the final frames fade. Sarsgaard, Clarkson and Scott deliver scorching performances that elevate Craig Lucas' work into something unforgettable. Highly recommended.

Popular Reviews
1. Lolly-Madonna XXX (Warner Archive Collection)
2. Godzilla (2014)
3. Hannibal: Season Two
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics
5. Any Given Sunday: 15th Anniversary
6. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
7. Eraserhead
8. Gilligan's Planet: The Complete Series (Warner Archive Collection)
9. Arrow: Season 2
10. The Rover


Special Offers
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Special Offers
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2014 DVDTalk.com All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use