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Asylum (2005)

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A woman becomes very curious about one of her psychiatrist husband's inmates, a man who was found guilty in the murder and disfigurement of his former wife.

Director:

David Mackenzie

Writers:

Patrick McGrath (novel), Patrick Marber (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Natasha Richardson ... Stella Raphael
Hugh Bonneville ... Max Raphael
Gus Lewis Gus Lewis ... Charlie Raphael
Ian McKellen ... Dr. Peter Cleave
Joss Ackland ... Jack Straffen
Wanda Ventham ... Bridie Straffen
Sarah Thurstan Sarah Thurstan ... Mrs. Rose
Alwyne Taylor Alwyne Taylor ... Monica
Maria Aitken ... Claudia Greene
Hazel Douglas ... Lilly
Anna Keaveney Anna Keaveney ... Mrs. Bain
Marton Csokas ... Edgar Stark
Robert Willox Robert Willox ... John Archer
Judy Parfitt ... Brenda Raphael
Sean Harris ... Nick
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Storyline

In the 1950s, the psychiatrist Max Raphael is hired to work as superintendent of an asylum in the outskirts of London, and he moves with his wife Stella Raphael and their son Charlie. Stella has a passionless marriage and is ignored by Max. Her boredom changes when her son befriends the handsome inmate Edgar Stark, an sculptor that in a crisis of jealousy had killed and disfigured his wife, and that is treated by Dr. Peter Cleave, an ambitious psychiatrist that aspired Max's position. During the afternoons, Stella has a hot adulterous affair with Edgar until the day he escapes and their affair is discovered. Stella has to take a decision between her family and her wild passion for Edgar. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Passion knows no boundaries. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, some violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramount Classics

Country:

UK | Ireland

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 September 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Casa da Loucura See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,272, 14 August 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$374,903, 13 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna Keaveney died before this movie was released. See more »

Goofs

The story is set in the Summer of 1959. The Mk II Jaguar, as used by Raphael, was only introduced for the London Show in October of that year. (Please see 'Trivia' item, also). See more »

Quotes

Max Raphael: I want you to understand what's going to happen next. The shock will wear off, and it will be replaced by a devastating grief. In time, you will come to terms with what you have done and you'll just be very, very sad. And that sadness will stay with you for the rest of your life.
See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Blaze Away
Written by Holzmann
Performed by Lindley Band
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User Reviews

 
Excellent Adaptation - A Gripping and Haunting tale of Obsessive Love
13 February 2006 | by richard-810See all my reviews

Very briefly, the story concerns Stella, the wife of a newly arrived deputy superintendent of a prison hospital for the criminally insane and the developing relationship that she forms with one of the trusted inmates. Nothing particularly original about a tale of doomed love - you inevitably suspect that the outcome will be disastrous, but the tale unfolds in a way that is unexpected and gripping. What makes Asylum stand out is the environment in which the tale is set and the quality of the production. I read the book on which the film is based some years ago. I often find that having read a book, a subsequent film can be a disappointment, possibly because the pictures you have formed in your mind vary from those that appear on screen. Asylum differed in this respect and I came away from the viewing haunted by what I had seen and greatly impressed with the absorbing nature of the production. For the benefit of any readers unfamiliar with the work of the author Patrick McGrath, his books often feature characters that are mentally ill. He knows the subject well as he grew up living in the grounds of Broadmoor, the English prison hospital for the criminally insane that features in this story. His father worked on the medical staff there. The film captures the claustrophobic and artificial environment of such a community and I refer to that which is experienced by the staff and their families rather than the patients. The rigid conformity and social constraints to which Stella is subject to are convincingly portrayed. The casting and acting I found pretty much faultless, not only from the big players such as Richardson and McKellen but the lesser known members of the cast excel also. Marton Csokas as Edgar, the subject of Stella's attention is particularly good. I was expecting a worthy but slightly dull 'quality' drama but I found the film unexpectedly absorbing, even though I was familiar with the story. The direction and photography should be praised also – unobtrusive but allowing the story to unfold at a swift pace so as to hold the viewers attention. Highly recommended.


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