It’s difficult to remain objective in assessing the films of Roman Polanski, whose accomplishments in cinema have been rightly overshadowed by the fact that he drugged and raped a child in 1977 before fleeing to Europe, continuing to work in exile. Despite this, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Tenant remain some of the great works in twentieth-century cinema. Sadly, though, the 1966 Cul-de-sac does not quite belong in this rarefied atmosphere. The decent premise, great cast and stark cinematography do little to elevate this black comedy which is all too often baggy, ponderous and at just under two hours, still too long.
Christopher Machell | @Dr_Machell