‘Exhibition’: a couple and their crazy-making home on display
A three-star movie review of “Exhibition,” a curious drama that’s a series of snapshot moments of a married couple growing estranged in an emotionally repressive town house.
Special to The Seattle Times
‘Exhibition,’ with Viv Albertine, Liam Gillick, Tom Hiddleston. Written and directed by Joanna Hogg. 104 minutes. Not rated; for mature audiences. Northwest Film Forum, through Thursday.
Can a house with no ghosts somehow still be haunted?
That seems to be the case in “Exhibition,” a curious collage of enigmatic scenes from a strained marriage. Except for a few supporting players (Tom Hiddleston has a minor role), this British drama is essentially a study of three characters.
One, identified only as “D” (Viv Albertine) in the credits, is a depressed artist caught in an accelerating cycle of private performance pieces, often with an erotic edge. Her husband, “H” (Liam Gillick), is a writer lost in his own ennui. The third is the estranged couple’s modernist town house in London. With its circular stairways and sliding/spinning doors and enormous windows covered by miles of Venetian blinds, everything about this place encourages isolation and emotional disconnection.
Writer-director Joanna Hogg doesn’t present a cohesive story so much as drop a viewer into a series of inscrutable moments. We deal more with impressions than facts.
Many of those impressions come from the house’s constant, ambient noises, camouflaged doors and cavernous spaces, all amplifying H and D’s anxieties. “Exhibition” may not be “The Shining,” but its portrait of a crazy-making home is unsettling.
Tom Keogh: firstname.lastname@example.org