Video Review

The Substance of Fire

EW's GRADE
C-

Details With: Tony Goldwyn and Timothy Hutton

King Lear comes to Manhattan. In director Daniel Sullivan's adaptation of Jon Robin Baitz's play, The Substance of Fire, a widowed publisher (Ron Rifkin) has a passion for truth that stems from hiding from Nazis in a book-filled attic. But his house is crumbling; history doesn't sell. His kids peg Pop to publish lucrative pulp; the kingdom falls apart. Rifkin's descent into madness is Shakespearean in scope, but the rest (except Sarah Jessica Parker) are precious. Fire? Duraflame. C-

Originally posted Jun 12, 2008 Published in issue #388 Jul 18, 1997 Order article reprints
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