Dean Craig’s greed comedy squanders the wealth of its superb cast
The estateAmazon Prime Video
The estate is a zany, borderline tasteless, and occasionally funny comedy of greed about a miserable bunch of vultures orbiting the not-quite-corpse of a wealthy virgin aunt. It’s a decent premise, but unfortunately it’s less than the sum of its parts.
Macey (Toni Collette) is kind and grumpy. She has been divorced twice and is on the verge of losing her most recent fiancé, a man prone to uncontrollable fits of crying, to a job in Alaska. More urgently, she will lose the seedy diner she runs with her sister Savanna (Anna Faris) to a mountain of debt. Her father founded the place 50 years ago; soon it will be as dead as all the bodies buried in the graveyard across (place, place, place).
The film, written and directed by Dean Craig and very much in keeping with the tone and style of his previous screenplays for death at a funeral and the set-in-Australia A few best men, wastes no time pitching Macey as the play’s weak hero, which has the unfortunate effect of signaling from the start where it’s going to end. However, Savanna is an ethical and behavioral mess. That’s a good thing, because it’s the engine of the story.
It is she who pounces on the news that her aging aunt Hilda (Kathleen Turner) is dying and suggests insinuating herself to the childless old lady in order to interfere with her will. Hilda’s massive house and its various belongings must be worth $20 million, she estimates. This will fix her shitty diner to no end.
Of course, when they arrive, they realize that Hilda is not alone at all. Her cousins Richard (David Duchovny) and Beatrice (Rosemarie DeWitt) are already there, with a considerable lead in the scorching stakes. Beatrice’s husband James (Ron Livingston), the chef, is also cooking up a storm, hoping Hilda’s stomach is the quickest route to her freezing heart and heaving wallet.
There’s ample scope in the cousins’ intrigue, stinginess and competition, and Hilda’s harsh imperviousness to anything, for broad, subtle, and occasionally disgusting comedy. But Craig rarely pushes it as far as it will go.
Beatrice’s selfishness sits lightly on her shoulders; She is so comfortable with her greed that she is almost blissful. Likewise, Richard’s – “I prefer Dick” – smuttiness is fortunately untroubled. However, it’s fun to see Duchovny playing with his personal and professional past so confidently.
https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movies/inheritance-comedy-the-estate-squanders-riches-of-a-superb-cast-20230201-p5ch18.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Dean Craig’s greed comedy squanders the wealth of its superb cast