Brand New 2K Master! Screen legends Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter) and Nick Nolte (Mulholland Falls) are out to make a killing in this wildly outrageous comedy directed by Anthony Harvey (They Might Be Giants). Grace Quigley (Hepburn) has come to the end of her rope and wants out. When she meets a sweet, neurotic hitman, Seymour Flint (Nolte), she comes up with a brainstorm: The unlikely pair will provide a painless parting for seniors who have had enough of life’s slings and arrows. As business booms, Grace and Seymour develop a warm, mother-son relationship, until “mom” begins to have ideas that could put Seymour in the clink for good. The superb supporting cast includes Elizabeth Wilson (9 to 5), Walter Abel (13 Rue Madeleine) and Chip Zien (Howard the Duck).
As embodied by Alan Bates, Butley falls back on the surgically precise wit and savage eloquence that helped put him in his current circumstances in the first place. The blitzkrieg of vitriolic commentary with which Butley engages lovers, students, rivals, and allies, all with equal ferocity, becomes a glass bottom boat illuminating the churning depths of his bankrupted soul. Acclaimed playwright Harold Pinter, in what Time Magazine hailed as “a quite superior directorial debut,” turns author Simon Gray’s single-set, dialogue driven stage play into an irresistible dynamic visual experience that tracks Bates’ hilarious and fearless performance with cunning precision.
Bates and an expert supporting cast, including OscarÃ‚Â® winner Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy), joust with a sly, self-referencing wit and an unselfconscious exuberance that is breathtaking. With every verbal parry and valedictory flourish of wordplay, Butley’s life becomes more of an inescapable bear trap of thwarted ambition, clandestine affection, and squandered brilliance.