Porter Wren is a Manhattan tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy, and anything that passes for the truth. At home, he is a dedicated husband and father. But when Caroline, a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail--one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.
**Ending up solving mysteries between two people risking his own family.** The film was based on the book named 'Manhattan Nocturne'. Excellently made film, it's the director's first feature film as well. He did not get the top actors, but these actors were the good ones. Adrien Brody and Yvonne Strahovski were amazing their respective roles. It was not a detective story, but very close to being one. So if you love crime-mysteries, then you should try this. The tone of the film makes very interesting. It's not about the question of story prediction, but how cleverly it was advanced like the characters were transformed compared to the opening and the conclusion. Some films open strongly, but ends poorly. In this case, the opening was average, but ended on a high. The main reason is the middle parts, keeping all contents together and developing some suspense with a couple of quick twists made this film to reach the expectation made by its viewers. It was a tale of a recently famed reporter finds an affair with a young widow, despite he's married with a child. Soon, he discovers some mysterious men are watching him, who threatening his family as well. How he gets out of that trouble by finding reasons behind it is what the rest of the film narrates. It looked a lot like a television film. Not because of the production quality, actually the production was top class, but the story and its narration felt kind of like a mini-series type. I don't know how many books are there, but I want this to continue, at least as a television film series. One of the best of its kind, I almost liked everything about the film. But I still feel I underrated it, at the end I'm satisfied with what I gave. Definitely, I recommend it. _7/10_
Tell me the horse story! Manhattan Night is directed by Brian DeCubellis and DeCubellis adapts the screenplay from the novel Manhattan Nocturn written by Colin Harrison. It stars Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Jennifer Beals, Campbell Scott, Linda Lavin and Steven Berkoff. Music is by Joel Douek and cinematography is by David Tumblety. A New York journalist finds himself in a web of intrigue and passion when a woman asks him to investigate the mysterious death of her film director husband. How wonderful to find that in this day and age there are still film makers willing to push film noir in its neo form up front and central. Of course the trick is knowing your staple requirements of what would be termed "pure noir", and of course noir in colour form is never going to be accepted in some quarters (understandably so). So approaching Manhattan Night to hopefully view a simple murder mystery thriller is likely to end in disappointment, for this beats a true noir heart and an understanding of that film making style and its narrative barbs should, hopefully, aid the viewing experience. Instantly we are served a classic era slice of noirvana as Brody's journalist Porter Wren starts narrating where he is at for story origin. Soon enough a sultry babe in the form of Strahovski's femme fatale enters the fray. Tumblety establishes that under wise direction we are in the realm of neo-noir photographic compliance, the pronounced primaries will continue to be a feature as the NYC locales bristling with beauty and lurking danger. All while Douek lays out a jazzy blues musical score that's knowingly complicit as a seamy character. DeCubellis has filled out his play with stock noir characters. The happily married man - a good father, giving in to temptation, the femme with a painful back story - which is compounded by a husband who is into psychotic love. The rich wealthy man damaged physically to the point of crushing his masculinity, and his hired goons who like their work way too much. Into the mix is the murder mystery, incriminating video footage, some family peril and a whole lot of eroticism. Welcome to Noirville! It's not all dandy film making though. DeCubellis is guilty of letting Berkoff way overact in the first half of his character's story, but this is off set later in the film as Berkoff reins it in and gives us something more subtle and touching. The director/writer also gives us an ending that doesn't have the courage to really beat a black heart, which is annoying since the pic has been set up previously as such. Yet there's so much to admire here, so much so it would be nice to see DeCubellis stay in this zone and take Tumblety with him. 8/10
"I'm always running to the place where something bad just happened," narrates Porter Wren (Adrien Brody) at the beginning of Manhattan Night, which explains his presence in this faux noir. Porter is a columnist for a New York periodical; “I used to think that my stories could make a difference. Now I just hope they are enough to feed my family.” Unless they actually eat the newspaper after reading it, I highly doubt that a meager column could support a family of four — or, for that matter, a single person (unless that person is J.J. Hunsecker, and Porter most certainly isn’t). Thus, when Porter calls his Manhattan home a "miracle," the only miraculous thing about it is that he can afford it on a columnist's salary. Although his surgeon wife Lisa (Jennifer Beals) is presumably the one paying the bills so he can play journalist, Porter has no problem cheating on her with socialite Caroline Crowley (Yvonne Strahovski), widow of Simon Crowley (Campbell Scott), a famous film director/enfant terrible whose corpse, or what was left of it, is found in the ruins of a demolished building. Caroline asks Porter to investigate Simon's death, which is pretty stupid considering that a) she was there when it happened and not just as an innocent bystander, which of course means that b) any information Porter digs up can be used to incriminate her, something he actually threatens her with at the end. The only possible motive for Caroline's behavior is that she wanted an opportunity to seduce Porter, but he is so dazzled by her and her lifestyle — "I just went up in the elevator with Leonardo DiCaprio," she tells Caroline in one of his visits to her apartment; unfortunately Leo got off at another floor (where a much better movie was presumably being filmed) —, that Caroline only had to ask 'voulez-vous coucher avec moi?' to get in his pants. In fact, Porter's infatuation is such that needs no more motivation to call her than a Bazooka joke comic — though God knows he wasn't going to find it in the script.