It’s kind of a miracle to see that Todd Solondz is already shooting another movie, “Dark Horse,” with long-time collaborator Ted Hope (“Happiness,” “Storytelling”). It’ll be the shortest time between projects for Solondz, who has always taken a few years before making another film, given how difficult it is to get his idiosyncratic films financed and produced.
While his most recent “Life During Wartime” received some of the best reviews of Solondz’s career, it’s also made the least amount of box office, which probably has as much to do with changing audience habits (it was released by IFC Films, famous for its VOD strategy, after all) as Solondz’s cache.
But still, you have to wonder how Solondz does it: He is one of the few American directors working consistently since the ’90s who has not compromised his vision one iota and has managed to keep making movies every few years, despite the fact that the industry, at large, would seem to have little use for his provocative cinema. Thankfully, it seems, actors appreciate Solondz a lot more than audiences: “Dark Horse” stars a great cast, including Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Mia Farrow, Jordan Gelber, Donna Murphy and Christopher Walken.
According to the release, the film is about Abe (Gelber), a 30-something who lives with his parents, reluctantly works for his father (Walken), and avidly collects toys. When Abe isn’t playing backgammon with his mother (Farrow), he’s trying to romance Miranda (Blair), another 30-something who has moved back in with her parents after her literary/academic career crashed. Out of desperation, Miranda agrees to marry Abe, and the two begin to plan their life together. But, just when it looks like things are starting to go right for Abe, everything goes horribly wrong.
The movie is being shot by ace cinematographer Andrij Parekh (Blue Valentine, Cold Souls), which should promise a piece of work that is as smart looking as it is sure to be smartly written.