WELCOME TO NEW YORK || 2014, USA / France || Drama || Directed by – Abel Ferrara / Written by – Abel Ferrara, Christ Zois / Produced by – Michael Corso, Ged Dickersin, Adam Folk, Anthony Gudas, Shanyn Leigh / Cinematography by – Ken Kelsch / Editing by – Anthony Redman / Production design – Tommaso Ortino / Starring – Gérard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset, Marie Mouté / Running time: 125 mins.
The ever provocative Abel Ferrara, inspired by the Strauss-Khan scandal, adapted the story into a film of his own about a conveniently similar individual with a different name, a wealthy industrialist who is caught in a rape scandal that might compromize his plans of becoming the president of France.
Yes, the film is indeed provocative, but it is ultimately a fascinating portrayal in which the filmmaker never quite borderlines the tastelessness that one might be inclined to think Welcome to New York would have. Indeed, it is quite an original perspective on a wealthy character used to have everything and anything go his own way as helpless as an animal in a cage. And such portrayal is carried with great credibility by Gerard Depardieu in one of his best performances in recent years. His role required him a certain physicality that he is able to deliver with the same greatness that made him such a universally revered name in international cinema.
For many, the directness of the language of Ferrara might be a little hard to swallow and tough digest, but others who are willing to accept this as an artist’s original perspective will see that this reflects the interests of the filmmaker himself. – 4/5