Death of a Ladies' Man

Drama | 101 Minutes

Canada: Friday, January 29, 2021

14-A

A carousing college professor's life takes a series of unimaginable turns, and all the old stories are given a new twist, when he begins to have surreal hallucinations.
 
 
 
 
 

Cast & Crew

Movie Cast
 
  • Gabriel Byrne
    Cast
     
  • Jessica Paré
    Cast
     
  • Brian Gleeson
    Cast
     
  • Antoine Olivier Pilon
    Cast
     
  • Suzanne Clément
    Cast
     
Movie Crew
 
  • Matt Bissonnette
    Director
     
  • Don Carmody
    Producer
     
  • Corey Marr
    Producer
     
  • Martina Niland
    Producer
     
  • Marie-Claude Poulin
    Producer
     
  • Matt Bissonnette
    Writer
     
  • Bobby Theodore
    Writer
     
 

User Reviews

Public Reviews - 1 Reviews
 
  • Gregory M. - Rated it 3 out of 5

    "Death Of A Ladies Man" Inspired by the work of Leonard Cohen, and set to some of his most beloved music, "Death Of A Ladies Man" tells the story of Samuel O'Shea (Gabriel Byrne), a carousing college professor whose life takes a series of unimaginable turns, and all the old stories are given a new twist, when he begins to have surreal hallucinations and learns he may not be long for this world. University poetry professor Samuel O'Shea (Gabriel Byrne) is an exuberant womanizer and enthusiastic drinker who has seen better days. His second marriage is ending, and his wife Angel (Karine Dion) and children Brendan (Joel Bissonnette) and Linda (Caroline Bartczak) are at their wits end. More disturbingly, he has begun seeing things. Frankenstein (Michael Hearn) sidles up to the bar, strangers sing and dance to 'Leonard Cohen' tunes, his much-missed father Ben (Brian Gleeson), who died when he was just a boy, pops up for chats. At first, he thinks it could be the drink, or perhaps he’s gone mad, but soon discovers he has a brain tumor, which may be causing these odd visions, or he may just be going crazy. Reflecting on the life he has lived, Sam retreats to his family shack in remote Ireland to take stock of his life and work on that great novel he always meant to write, and generally take stock. Surprisingly, or not, he meets and falls in love with Charlotte (Jessica Paré), a surprising woman who's full of unexpected surprises. All this leads Samuel to an utterly unforeseeable, but surprisingly happy ending. "Death Of A Ladies Man" tells the story of Samuel O’Shea, a charming, down on his luck, hard-living, on-the-far-end of middle age college professor, who is undone by tough breaks, ridiculous desires, and rampant fantasies. Very good things are happening with the beginnings of honest public discussions of power and violence in gender/sexual relations in all their many variations. "Death Of A Ladies Man" has no point or message to deliver here, but it does move in the circles being discussed in two notable ways. First, Samuel has a male problem, and, as many have pointed out, male oppression is not a female problem, rather it's a male problem that woman suffer from, and the film is, in it's way, an honest depiction of that male problem: the way a man, suffering from childhood trauma, and the disease of addiction, which at it's core is a complex confusion of desire and denial, has come to view romantic/intimate relationships, and how that viewpoint dooms those relationships, his relationships with his family, his friends, his lovers, and his growth and potential as a human being. Second, there are no new stories, the aging, doomed lothario has been with us since men have done wrong and grown old to regret, however, there are new ways to tell old stories. The twist in the tale, and what makes the film different and unique, is that it does not believe in the myth of the ladies man; rather, it's an emotional, psychological, philosophical examination of the nature of, and ultimate slaying of, that male fantasy. The art of longing's over and it's never coming back. So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed It would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed It's like our visit to the moon or you go for nothing if you really want to go that far. Leonard Cohen is regarded as the great singer-songwriter/poet-troubadour of the modern era. His work touches on many of the film’s themes; love and death, failure and redemption, sex and fidelity, the profane and the divine. He's the patron saint of Montreal, his work and his memory are woven into the town, and have always been a part of my life. In his songs and writing he walked a perfect/imperfect line between truth and humor. The balance of beauty, sadness, and humour runs through his work. One of the wonderful things about Cohen’s work is that it’s painfully clear that he painfully understood how threadbare the ladies man myth is; and, by extension, that the struggle to see reality clearly is where the real work lay. As reality continues to slip away from us, day by sucking day. The characters are very pure products of the locations. The camera is very close to all the actor's faces, and far away from all the buildings, and mountains, and oceans, and cottages, and cliffs, and car chases. Following Chaplin’s thinking, 'tragedy in close up, comedy in a wide'. The tone is a bit sad, honest, dry-humoured, warm-hearted, but it is also a little strange and a bit jarring. The story is a very pure product of the locations. One thing that struck are the clear similarities between Quebec and Ireland, the same constant, dark, dry sense of humour; the same lingering 'Catholic' and 'British' legacy; the struggles to preserve a language and a culture; the great traditions of writing and songs and art; the love of french fries. "Death Of A Ladies Man" is a story about hard times/hard themes, and it's also a joyful, surreal musical. It's a dramatic story told from a comedic perspective: relationships end, people fail, hearts are broken, death comes calling, but all is seen, and told, from a lighter, more generous point of view, and, happily, overwrought melodrama is avoided. Many films have a similar dramatic narrative/comedic tone combination ("Sonatine", "Gerry", "Force Majeure"). It's a film about fantasies, in particular the romantic fantasies of the happy drunk, and the happy womanizer, play in contemporary life; how they affect men; and how those fantasies warp men’s relationship with reality, and in turn can complicate/destroy their relationships with their families, their lovers, and others. A return to Ireland, the home of the myth of the romantic drunk, seems like a decent enough next stumble. Fantasy understandably plays a big part in life. Reality can be unpleasant, it often refuses to fit with one’s hopes and dreams, and the urge to escape is powerful and universal. Of course, there's no escape, and eventually every fantasy and each life comes to the same end: dead as a doornail! Happily, this grim fact need not be so grim, and one point of our surprisingly happy story about death is that life can be beautiful when fantasies are allowed to die. The film concerns many of my ongoing interests: relationships between fathers/mothers and sons/daughters; honest/unromantic depictions of addiction, sobriety, and the life-long effects of childhood trauma; the work of Leonard Cohen; fire-breathing geese burning down my hometown; and, the limitations of cinema in particular, and art in general, in depicting reality. This movie deals with a basic human experience; the continuous struggle to see the world for what it's, to see one’s life for what it's, and that wonderful, clear, brief moment when you suddenly know yourself and your world, and understand that you're an idiot; and that wonderful truth sets you free. At it's heart, the movie is about lost sons and lost fathers, lost mothers and lost daughters. It’s father’s day and everyone is wounded, and the world is understandably filled with stories of bad dads and lousy moms; however, in "Death Of A Ladies Man" tells the story of a love between fathers and sons, between parents and children that, in the end, makes their lives and their worlds whole. written by Gregory Mann
 

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