Strong performances anchor The Eclipse's mysteries
It's to McPherson's credit (coadapting a short story by fellow Irish playwright Billy Roche) that his elegantly controlled movie gets away with not quite providing an answer while juggling a lot of mismatched elements with deceptive ease. In a less quirky film, Hinds, atypically cast as the nice guy (he played an arrogant literary prick himself in 2008's Margot at the Wedding), would have swapped roles with Quinn. The gambit benefits them both, especially Quinn, who is terrific as the kind of tantrum-prone pretentious blowhard who'll never be a grownup, but is just talented enough to get away with it — commercially if not socially. The Eclipse barely seems to have gotten going before it's over, and no movie post-1970 should be ever allowed to end on a freeze-frame. Still, these 88 minutes are like some heavy (green of course) liqueur; just a thimbleful leaves you agreeably off-center, flushed, and a little spooked.
THE ECLIPSE opens Fri/16 in San Francisco.