CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Charlie Sheen Opens Up in ‘A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III’
CHICAGO – Roman Coppola, Oscar-nominated as you read this for his great work co-writing “Moonrise Kingdom” (he also co-wrote “The Darjeeling Limited” with Wes Anderson) brings us the truly odd “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” now available On Demand and opening this Friday in Chicago. The film proves two things – that Charlie Sheen is a better actor than his public persona and stint on “Two and a Half Men” may have led you to believe and that he needs to find a character to prove that instead of this riff on his real-life drama.
Charles Swan III does not coincidentally have the same initials as the man who plays this troubled character, who we meet after a break-up with the lovely Ivana (Katheryn Winnick) sends him into an existential and intoxicant-filled tailspin. We wander through this egotist’s hallucinations (in one, he wins an award for Best Bullshit, and, in another, he is dressed a cowboy and shot through the heart by a tricky Indian maid) as the people around him hope he gets his shit together and doctors are concerned about his health. Then he really goes off the edge. Jason Schwartzman stars as his best friend Kirby Star while Bill Murray, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney, Stephen Dorff, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead fill out a talented ensemble.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” in our reviews section.|
The experimental tone of “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” works pretty well for about 40-45 minutes. Watching Sheen traverse this highly-stylized vision of Los Angeles and work opposite actors like Murray, Arquette, and Plaza, I was reminded of something I hadn’t thought about it in quite some time –- as crazy as the winning actor may be in real life, he’s a pretty charismatic actor. With bushy hair and giant sunglasses, Sheen not only fits the part perfectly (well, because it’s kind of based on his real life) but makes interesting choices as an actor. I went into “Swan” thinking it might be just a variation on Sheen’s stage act, which, was really just the actor riffing with little script or focus. It’s more than that. There’s more effort here than you might expect and Sheen carries the film in ways that make you wish he gets an interesting role in a different project soon.
A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
Photo credit: A24