The Vertical Hour Reviews
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Nubby Alpern from New York
CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL DIVISIONS FIND UNIVERSAL TRUTHS
All you could possibly expect from the theater. Great acting, intense plot, beautiful and imaginative sets and challenging ideas. Iraq, yes or no? Responsibility, loyalty, committment, freedom, and taking action all issues dealt with. The vision of a still imature U.S., brash and idealogical compared to a staid Europe, cautious and jaded makes for great dialogue and lots of humor as well as some heavy emotion. Bill Nighy, Jullianne Moore are superb with a great supporting cast and David Hare once more demonstrates his skill with words.
Beth from New York, NY
GETS BETTER AND BETTER
I've seen this play three times so far, and it gets better and better. The cast has definitely settled in since the third preview, and there are little touches here and there that help. Seeing it again, it becomes clear why Nadia (Julianne Moore's character) so often comes off as "flat" in the first act...but to reveal why would give away a good deal of the second. It's not an easy play, and there is a lot of subtelty, but there is SO much in there. And yes, now that it's opened and Julianne's settled into the character, when she lets fly, she lets fly. Just not in Act One...for reasons that, like I said, become obvious in Act Two. I love this play...but then I've never been one who likes easy answers all tied up in a bow.
Paul from US
moore's character builds on you during the play from a rote professiorial academic to someone who finally realizes what is important to her both personnally and professionally. and bill's character and performance is truly admirable; its a wake up call for what's really important in our lives as inhabitants of the planet. and phillipp is a up and coming star who performs quite well with a role that is direct and consequential. worth seeing .
Anonymous from Jersey City, NJ
Went to see Bill Nighy and was not disappointed - he was his typical spectacular self. Julianna Moore's character had lots of "deep" thoughts but there was an emptiness to some of them. She was delightful in her typical way, but the character was flat and all the great lines were written for Bill. Her character/acting just didn't generate much response in me - I felt pretty neutral about her. Overall I was happy with the content and direction. Set was gorgeous and simple. Had a fabulous prix fixe dinner at the 21 Club before with free parking. Monday night was a great night to go because the city was quieter.
Eric M. from New York, NY
I admit I went to see Julianne Moore and I'm glad that I did. Bill Nighy gave a spectacular performance and I daresay one of the most expert displays of acting that I've ever seen. His engagement of the audience and complete immersion in the character had me actually feeling that this was truly his story. Andrew Scott showed a remarkable talent for playing across the text and allowing the words of the play to stand on their own. He filled out his character with NEW information and created a full 3D character that you could connect with. Julianne is a phenomenal actress but I think her Movie chops got in the way of a great performance. When it was time for her "close-up" she evoked strong emotion and truly made my heart feel the pain of the character. But...It wasn't a complete portrayal. She can learn about "constant" character from Bill and textual analysis from Andrew and turn a hit and miss performance into a masterpiece. Play:Topical, interesting, smart, funny.Cast A+
E from New York, NY, USA
Most summaries of the play mentoned this huge sexual chemistry and romantic issues. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was in fact a political drama. While Moore's performance is somewhat lacking, Nighy is wonderful and Andrew Scott is amazing. Another interesting aspect is that both sides of the debate about the Iraq war are equally debated. This is a show that is not to be missed.
W Moonan from NY NY
IN SEARCH OF A GOOD EDITOR
On the positive side, it's great to have a play with such timely discussion of the war in Iraq. On the negative side, the Moore character doesn't have enough subtlety written into it. Play is at least a half hour too long. Too preachy. First act has wordy, didactic speeches that could easily be cut. Second act is better,but the entire ending should be pared WAY down. Final scene should be cut altogether. Music, lighting and sets are good. Acting is good. The play is the problem.
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