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The Architect

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Anthony LaPaglia stars in THE ARCHITECT, a harrowing and ultimately human story of two very different families. Leo Waters (LaPaglia) is an idealistic architect and patriarch of an affluent, suburban Chicago family living with his troubled wife, Julia (Isabella Rossellini), blossoming daughter, Christina (Hayden Panettiere) and conflicted son, Martin (Sebastian Stan). Tonya Neely (Viola Davis) is an activist trying to keep her family safe while living in crime-infested housing projects. In her ongoing campaign to get the projects torn down and rebuilt, she seeks out Leo to obtain his signature on her petition to condemn the projects he designed.

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Anthony LaPaglia, an expert at playing the conflicted Everyman, notches another such character in The Architect, a low-budget adaptation of a play by David Greig. LaPaglia plays a Chicago architect, complacent in his teaching theories and obsessed with his scale models, who doesn't comprehend the effect of his designs on the people who actually live in his buildings. Case in point: an eighties-era housing project, now overrun by gangs, drugs, and despair. It's gotten so bad that resident Viola Davis (World Trade Center) is petitioning the city to tear the place down, and she's approached the architect about signing. Meanwhile, the movie ranges across the families of both characters, including LaPaglia's massively confused teenaged kids (Hayden Panettiere, Sebastian Stan), both of whom are trying on unfamiliar sexual roles. Isabella Rossellini plays LaPaglia's dazed wife, who straightens up the house in order to stave off the unhappiness of her marriage. In short, there's a lot going on here, too much for the brief running time of the movie; these people tend to have emblematic traits and not much else. Enlivened by actors, that kind of thing can work better on stage than in film, where the material feels skeletal. LaPaglia and Davis are in excellent form, however, and earn some of the power of the final moments. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes with commentary
  • Director's commentary
  • Featurette: "Higher Definition"

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony LaPaglia, Viola Davis, Isabella Rossellini, Hayden Panettiere, Sebastian Stan
  • Directors: Matt Tauber
  • Writers: Matt Tauber, David Greig
  • Producers: Christopher Edwards, Danny Leiner, Declan Baldwin, Ged Dickersin, Jason Kliot
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Magnolia
  • DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JJ4FRG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,584 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Architect" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2006
Format: DVD
THE ARCHITECT is a film based on a play by David Grieg that deals with social class dichotomy, lack of communication in families, gender confrontations in youths, and coming to grips with decisions of the past that later haunt. Made on a budget less than a million dollars and shot in twenty days, this unique little movie packs a wallop in the most secretive and subtle way. Directed by Matt Tauber, who also wrote the screenplay with Grieg, it has a fascinating, if at times disconcerting, format of quick scenes flashed before our eyes like simultaneous conversations - and some of the power of the film is piecing those snapshots together as the film ends.

Leo Waters (Anthony LaPaglia) is a successful architect, married to a wife Julia (Isabella Rossellini) who seems on the edge of mental instability. They have two teenage children - Christine (a very fine young actress Hayden Panettiere) who at age 15 is aware of her body and yet fearful of its implications in her interactions with boys and men, and Martin (Sebastian Stan) who has returned home from school as a drop out whose mind is preoccupied with soul searching. The discord at home is matched by the incipient calamity ongoing at a Project Leo designed early in his career, a Project now physically crumbling under the weight of drug dealing, crime, and discontent tenants - all led by activist Tonya Neeley (the superb actress Viola Davis) who has one daughter at home with an early conceived baby and another daughter who has stepped out of the Projects to better her education (her twin brother committed suicide in despair of his plight in the Projects). Two families in conflict over different reasons on the surface but sharing a similarity that is demonstrated as the story proceeds.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first movie I seen Viola Davis in was The Help, which I really liked. Then out of curiosity and appreciation of her acting caliber, I went out seeking other movies she's done, and she's become on of my favorite all-time actresses. Without her in this movie, I think the movie would have been a big flop!
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Format: DVD
I really enjoyed it. There was elements that reminded me of Ang Lee's The Ice-Storm, not as bleak though. I thought overall it was honest and addressed some serious issues. There was a lot going on with all the characters and I would of loved to see this movie be longer to really divulge all that was going on in their heads. Overall if you like heavy themes expressed subtly and complex latent characters, this movie may deliver for you.
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thanxs very much
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Amazing movie.
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