Amagansett actor Alec Baldwin stars in Motherless Brooklyn, opening this Friday, November 1. The new film is written, directed and produced by Edward Norton, who also stars in the central role alongside a stellar ensemble cast, including Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Leslie Mann and Willem Dafoe, Bobby Cannavale, Ethan Suplee and Fisher Stevens, among others.
In the film, which is based on Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel of the same name, Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, who attempts to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Willis). Armed only with a few clues and his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely guarded secrets that hold the fate of 1950s New York in the balance. The mystery carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, including Moses Randolph (Baldwin), a big shot based on Robert Moses, who grabbed great power over New York via its infrastructure and held multiple roles in public office. Throughout the story, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.
Since it’s still not in theaters, Motherless Brooklyn has yet to get reviews from audiences, but critics appear mixed. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 65% Fresh rating (as of Thursday evening) and offers a critics’ consensus: “Motherless Brooklyn‘s imposing length requires patience, but strong performances and a unique perspective make this a mystery worth investigating.”
Watch the trailer above to see Baldwin and Norton in action. If nothing else, it appears Baldwin is in his gravelly, gritty zone that many of us love to watch, and Norton should be terrific, as always.