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Originally published Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

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‘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

Movie Review 3 stars

‘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.

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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: tomwkeogh@yahoo.com



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