Best (little-seen) rentable movie shot in / about Queens (2008)


No one likes to sing the song of Queens, but Jonathan Nossiter's first film, Sunday (1997), documents the lowlands as if for National Geographic. The story, from poet James Lasdun, impressionistically follows the mysterious course of an introverted middle-aged man (David Suchet) living in a Queens homeless shelter, as he is confronted on the street by a beautiful, aging English woman (Lisa Harrow) who recognizes him as a famous film director she'd encountered years before. But is that who he is? The characters know, but they're not telling each other or us; the spooky mating dance between these two emotionally battered pilgrims eventually becomes profoundly deranged, compounding fantasy, lies, movie plots (several character names are borrowed from Hitchcock's Vertigo), and the chilly truth. Balding, wary, and indistinct, Suchet (BBC's Hercule Poirot) is so familiar/invisible you're not sure whether you've seen him in other movies or yesterday at the bus stop, but Harrow has the juicier role—you never know what this harebrained woman with the Masterpiece Theater accent and bizarre pathology will do next or why. Around them, the autumnal chill of the borough's skeletal els, decaying storefronts, and industrial effluvia provide color commentary.


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