Love and Death on Long Island 1997 ***

Adapted from Gilbert Adair’s novel, writer/director Richard Kwietniowski’s 1997 comedy/drama is an unusual love story that riffs on Thomas Mann’[s Death in Venice is a modern setting. Giles De’Ath (John Hurt) is a aging British writer who visits the cinema one day to see Hot Pants College II and finds himself transfixed by the beauty of actor Ronnie Bostock (Beverley Hills 90210 star Jason Priestley). Inspired by the younger man, De’Ath ventures to the Hamptons in a bid to track down the object of his affections, and the two men strike up and unusual friendship. Hurt has been memorable in so many supporting roles that it’s a pleasure to see him centre-stage, and Priestley demonstrates that he’s more than a pretty boy in this subtle, mellow but delightfully human story of unrequited love.


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