The Dying Gaul

A Buddhist screenwriter (Peter Saarsgard) writes an autobiographical script about the recent death of his male lover and sells it to a studio for a million dollars; the executive who buys it (Campbell Scott) converts it into a heterosexual story, meanwhile starting an affair with the writer. The executive’s wife (Patricia Clarkson) finds him out while communicating with the writer in a gay chat group, then impersonates his late lover. This directorial debut by Craig Lucas, based on his play, starts off promisingly as a Hollywood satire with a sensitive direction of actors. But then it gets progressively worse as it takes itself more seriously, changing the characters every which way and ending in absurd bathos. R, 101 min. (JR)

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