It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
The trouble with "Some Velvet Morning" is that it’s impossible to discuss why it's so powerful without giving away much about the very revelations and plot twists that help make it so.
We can say this: It represents a return to the kind of writing and filmmaking with which Neil LaBute made his name. That’s good news for fans of his earlier work, like “In the Company of Men” and "The Shape of Things," and bad news for people who like their films filled with hope and redemption. That foray into mediocrity with "Lakeview Terrace" and outright oddity with his remake of "The Wicker Man" seems to have been a blip in retrospect.
LaBute is back to being his black-hearted self once more. "Some Velvet Morning" is not based on one of his stage productions, as some of his best-known movies have been, but rather feels like a play on film. It features two actors in an enclosed setting—a tastefully decorated New York brownstone—doing nothing but talking in real time over the course of 82 minutes. And flirting. And bickering. And eventually getting physical with each other.
In such a scenario, the casting and chemistry of the actors are crucial, and Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve more than rise to the formidable challenge. They play beautifully off each other, even as (or perhaps especially when) they're hurling ugly sentiments back and forth.