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Review byMatthew Turner1/03/2006

One out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Nonsensical, badly written, frequently ludicrous thriller with a lacklustre central performance from Ewan McGregor.

What’s it all about?
Who knows? Ostensibly, the film is about New York psychiatrist Sam Foster (Ewan McGegor) and his urgent attempts to stop his mysterious patient Henry (Ryan Gosling) from carrying out a planned suicide on his 21st birthday. However, as Sam gets closer to Henry strange things start to happen and it begins to affect his relationship with girlfriend and former patient, Lila (Naomi Watts).

The Bad
It’s a shame that Stay is such a mess because there’s definite talent on board here. Screenwriter David Benioff wrote Spike Lee’s The 25th Hour and director Marc Forster made both Finding Neverland and Monster’s Ball. Stay was apparently Benioff’s first unproduced script and the evidence is that it probably should have stayed that way.

The Terrible
The main problem is that, given the film’s conclusion, it makes absolutely no sense at all. The logic of this sort of film requires all the clues to drop into place at the end, inducing a rush of Ah, now I get it… in the viewer. However, the only reaction possible here is, What? Is that it?.

It doesn’t help that McGregor’s performance is among his very worst – his American accent is worse than ever and he spends most of the film gaping in bemusement. Also, for a psychiatrist he’s not very smart. Gosling and Watts fare slightly better but that’s not saying much.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is a disaster from beginning to end. If you’re going to Stay anywhere, stay at home.

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Content updated: 23/07/2019 18:07

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