Asylum Nothing wrecks the mood of a high-toned British period piece about erotic obsession quicker than an unintentional laugh. In which case, prepare for Asylum to… Asylum Nothing wrecks the mood of a high-toned British period piece about erotic obsession quicker than an unintentional laugh. In which case, prepare for Asylum to… 2005-08-12 R PT90M Mystery and Thriller Marton Csokas Natasha Richardson Hugh Bonneville Ian McKellen Paramount Classics
Movie Review

Asylum (2005)

MPAA Rating: R
Asylum | MAD FOR EACH OTHER Psychiatric hospitals: Is there anywhere more romantic?
Image credit: Asylum: Colm Hogan
MAD FOR EACH OTHER Psychiatric hospitals: Is there anywhere more romantic?
EW's GRADE
C

Details Limited Release: Aug 12, 2005; Rated: R; Length: 90 Minutes; Genre: Mystery and Thriller; With: Marton Csokas and Natasha Richardson; Distributor: Paramount Classics

Nothing wrecks the mood of a high-toned British period piece about erotic obsession quicker than an unintentional laugh. In which case, prepare for Asylum to be derailed by snorts in all the wrong places, despite the participation of Natasha Richardson as an unhappy 1950s housewife and Ian McKellen as her Machiavellian shrink. In this adaptation of Patrick McGrath's novel, directed by David Mackenzie (Young Adam), Richardson plays Stella, living on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane, where her psychiatrist husband (Hugh Bonneville) has just taken a post.

One minute Stella is an aloof faculty spouse and the next she's in sexual thrall to an inmate, Edgar (Marton Csokas, the near-sighted woman's Clive Owen), who has been locked up for years on charges of murdering his wife in a fit of jealousy. The upshot of this foolish choice by a smart woman is lots of R-rated sex with an emphasis on lingerie. (In the wings, McKellen looks skeptical.) On the grounds of an asylum, you see, these two voraciously self-destructive creatures find a very different kind of haven together. Don't laugh.

Originally posted Aug 10, 2005 Published in issue #834-835 Aug 19, 2005 Order article reprints