The Designated Mourner

Director: David Hare
Writer: Wallace Shawn
Director of Photography:Oliver Stapleton
Editor:George Akers
Music:Richard Hartley
Production Designer:Bob Crowley
Producers:Donna Grey and David Hare
First Look Pictures; R; 95 minutes
Cast:Mike Nichols, Miranda Richardson and David de Keyser
Based on the play by Wallace Shawn

The Designated Mourner comes close to matching the intelligence and wit of My Dinner With André — no easy feat in an era when film audiences crave action and don't have the patience to absorb high-minded dialogue. Through Jack (Nichols), Jack's wife (Richardson) and Jack's father-in-law (de Keyser), Shawn laments the disintegration of high culture. As a newly installed repressive regime violently bears down on the unnamed country's intelligentsia, Jack, a second-rate intellectual, grapples with joining his highbrow wife and father-in-law or slumming it in the totalitarian society the government seeks to create.