Closet Land The minutes crawl by during this fancifully abstract two-character piece, which stars Alan Rickman — such a terrific villain in the first Die Hard —… Closet Land The minutes crawl by during this fancifully abstract two-character piece, which stars Alan Rickman — such a terrific villain in the first Die Hard —… R PT89M Drama Horror Alan Rickman Madeleine Stowe Brian Grazer Universal
Movie Review

Closet Land (1991)

MPAA Rating: R
EW's GRADE
D-

Details Rated: R; Length: 89 minutes; Genres: Drama, Horror; With: Alan Rickman and Madeleine Stowe; Distributor: Universal

The minutes crawl by during this fancifully abstract two-character piece, which stars Alan Rickman — such a terrific villain in the first Die Hard — as a steely interrogator who spends months torturing an innocent author of children's books (Madeleine Stowe). Her crime? Writing a nice little story that has been construed as ''subversive'' by the Powers That Be (just who they are is left intentionally vague). She, however, proves stronger than her accusers. As she keeps repeating, they can break her body but they can't break her mind. The movie, which has the feel of some didactic Off Off Broadway production left over from 1972, is set entirely in one gray marble room — a kind of stylized Bauhaus torture chamber. The moral scheme is, to put it mildly, basic: Closet Land is squarely on the side of innocent women who write children's books and squarely against the vile fascist monsters who torture them.

Originally posted Mar 15, 1991 Published in issue #57 Mar 15, 1991 Order article reprints