Mention Neil LaBute to a film fan, and they’ll likely reference, "The bees! The bees!" Nic Cage’s exaggerated performance in LaBute’s 2006 take on The Wicker Man helped define the term viral video. But it takes away from the real strength of LaBute as a storyteller, which was on display in such memorably menacing relationship dramas as In the Company of Men, Your Friends & Neighbors, and the brilliantly brutal The Shape of Things, which put poor Paul Rudd through the ringer. (Now he’s Ant-Man, so things are looking up, but back then, Rachel Weisz wrapped him around her finger, and it was tough to watch.)
From what we are hearing, LaBute’s upcoming Some Velvet Morning is a return to his earlier days, a character-driven piece essentially pitting two leads against each other armed with nothing but some vicious, hurtful truths. Stanley Tucci plays a man who finally leaves his wife to be with his gorgeous mistress, played by Alice Eve. Except, they have been apart for four long years, and Eve’s character isn’t so sure she wants him back. In this exclusive clip, shared with us by Tribeca Films, Eve sees Tucci’s reaction to her denial. It isn’t pretty and it contains plenty of NSFW language, so turn down your speakers or slap on a pair of headphones:
Last time we saw Eve in a major role, she was prancing around the deck of the Enterprise in her underwear. And Tucci’s no stranger to blockbusters, having played supporting parts in Captain America: The First Avenger and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in theaters as we speak. I think people can forget what an amazing actor Tucci can be, though. Even in Suzanne Collins’ exaggerated world, he steals scenes with his charisma. Some Velvet Morning looks to give him a meaty part into which he can sink his teeth. Knowing LaBute, neither character is going to emerge from this exercise with their egos or spirits intact.
Some Velvet Morning played the Tribeca Film Festival last April, where it scored solid reviews. It is making its way to more theaters early next year, and is currently available on VOD, iTunes and in select theaters. We have the official one-sheet for the movie below. Look for it in area theaters, and we’ll continue to cover it as we get closer to release date. And if you prefer LaBute for the bees, there’s always this:
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.