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Feb 23, 2011

Movie Draft: The Remarkable Andrew

by Brandon Kruse

(The Remarkable Andrew is one of five made-up films generated during PoopReading.com's recent Movie Draft.)

During his lifetime, Edgar Allan Poe was known as an author, a poet, a literary critic, an incestuous cradle robber (he married his 13-year-old cousin), a widower, a drunk, a drug addict, and possibly a rabies victim (which some may find synonymous with "literary critic"). But he was never known as a time-traveling, crime-solving hero... until now.

In the remarkable new film The Remarkable Andrew, Poe (played elegantly and smartly by John Hawkes) goes around calling himself Andrew Perry (the last name a clever reference to the fake surname Poe once used to enlist in the U.S. Army), purportedly an author of detective fiction who gets caught up in helping to track down a Baltimore-area serial killer.

The person he's assisting is Claire Jeffries, a fresh, young FBI profiler played by Amy Adams, who manages to evoke the steely vulnerability of Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs while still making the character very much her own. Jeffries is enjoying the assignment because it's letting her spend time with her sister Noelle (Nicole Kidman) and Noelle's husband Edgardo (Javier Bardem, excellent, as always). (Kidman's role is thankless, as she shows up for a couple of perfunctory scenes before being brutally murdered. To which I say: best use of Nicole Kidman EVER.)

Jeffries isn't sure whether to trust Andrew or suspect him of being the serial killer, but when he reveals his true identity to her, she gets frightened and refers him to Edgardo (Bardem, as always, is excellent) for a full psychiatric evaluation. But with time it becomes clear that Andrew/Poe is evaluating Edgardo as much as Edgardo is evaluating him, and the tension in this thriller keeps ratcheting up until you can hardly stand it.

The filmmaking here is simple yet savvy, and The Remarkable Andrew knows that its remarkable cast is one of its strengths, and wisely lets the actors shine. After watching him transform into a sexy bad-ass who saves the day, will we ever be able to look at Poe the same way again? Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

The Remarkable Andrew is rated R for mild necrophilia (Bardem is excellent, as always), excessive Poeing (a new term coined for the movie that refers to shooting yourself up with the saliva of a rabid dog), and violence against Nicole Kidman's career.

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