Some Velvet Morning traps its characters inside a house of emotional hostility and does not provide catharsis until the film’s final scene. It is simply impossible to discuss the effectiveness of the film without spoiling the movie’s final intimate exchange, so I will walk around it: the movie centers on Fred (Stanley Tucci), who has left his wife of 24 years to stay with “Velvet” (Alice Eve), his mistress whom he has not seen in four years. Velvet is surprised, as she constantly mentions, but in a particularly neutral way; she’s not sure what to make of her aggressively loving past lover. Eve and Tucci play off of each other impressively, walking around (probably intentionally) clunky dialogue that forces them to address their emotional demons head on. LaBute’s direction is claustrophobic and voyeuristic, remaining inside the house to create a sense of growing unease. It’s only until the film’s brilliant conclusion, which will leaves audiences equally divided, that the film is given a whole new context and shows the remarkable nature of these performances. It’s an uneven journey, but Some Velvet Morning is a rewarding watch.
Grade: ★★★½ (out of 5)