16.09.2010 / Share on Facebook

The Temptation of St. Tony: Critics’ Pick in The New York Times

Veiko Õunpuu’s The Temptation of St. Tony was designated as a Critics’ Pick by the film reviewers of The New York Times.

NYT review:

Bizarre and beautiful, disturbing and droll, “The Temptation of St. Tony” wonders what it means to be a good man. Kicking off with a quotation from Dante’s “Inferno,” this delirious sophomore feature from the Estonian filmmaker Veiko Ounpuu observes Tony (Taavi Eelmaa), a triumphantly depressed middle manager. Dissatisfied with his adulterous wife and a boss who orders him to sack all his factory workers, Tony descends into a midlife crisis that manifests itself as a series of increasingly hilarious, horrific visions. Or are they? Looking like a grown-up version of the hero of “Eraserhead,” Tony seems at times a two-dimensional character traversing a multidimensional, Lynchian landscape. Greeting every experience — his father’s funeral, a pile of severed hands, an abused girl (Ravshana Kurkova) — with a single, stunned expression, he questions not only his faith but also the utility of morality. At the same time, his marriage, friendships and emptied-out factory, defined by depravity and desolation, symbolize an ethical void that’s terrifyingly familiar. — Jeannette Catsoulis