EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum gives Solitary Man a strong A- and her capsule review suggests Michael Douglas earns an A+.
In contrast to the emotional inertia of the character he plays, a former big-wheel car dealer gunning toward self-destruction as he nears 60, Michael Douglas surges ahead in Solitary Man with the best work he’s done in the decade since Wonder Boys. Douglas portrays Ben Kalmen, a New York player gone to seed and divorced from a good, mature woman (Susan Sarandon, equally revitalized).
With an outstanding screenplay by Brian Koppelman and disciplined direction by Koppelman and David Levien, a story that could have been generic (or worse, scented with flowery bulls—) turns into a precise, honest, and affecting drama. And recognizing the gift of such a character, Douglas does Ben Kalmen the honor of playing him exactly as he lies.
Possible nominations for actor and screenplay? We featured a peek several weeks ago and Solitary Man premiered quietly in limited release this weekend — but looks like it’s time to pay closer attention.