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The Tenants
The Tenants
Actors: Dylan McDermott, Sera Demira, Snoop Dogg, Rose Byrne, Seymour Cassel
Director: Danny Green
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
R     2006     0hr 31min

Set in 1972 Brooklyn, Henry Lesser (Dylan McDermott) is the sole tenant in a rundown tenement struggling to finish a novel. His solitary pursuit of the sublime grows complicated when Willie Spearmint (Snoop Dogg), a black ...  more »
     
     
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Movie Details

Actors: Dylan McDermott, Sera Demira, Snoop Dogg, Rose Byrne, Seymour Cassel
Director: Danny Green
Creators: Danny Green, Andreas Thiesmeyer, Avi Lerner, Chris Bongirne, Elisa Salinas, Bernard Malamud, David Diamond
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, African American Cinema
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/07/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 0hr 31min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

A Microscopic Examination of Urban Life and the Writer's Min
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"THE TENANTS began as a 1971 short novel by the now deceased Bernard Malamud - writer/philosopher - examining the conflicts between Jews and African Americans in the incendiary atmosphere of Brooklyn at the time the book was written. As a novel the story was gut wrenchingly real: as transcribed into a screenplay by novices David Diamond and Danny Green (who also directs) it is more of a cerebral dissertation that gradually erupts into action in the final moments.

Harry Lesser (Dylan McDermott) is a Jewish novelist with one book under his belt but currently attempting to finish his 'newest' book ten years into the writing. Convinced that he must complete the novel in the same environment where it was started: he is the sole tenant in a condemned Brooklyn tenement owned by Levinspiel (Seymour Cassel) who constantly tries to 'buy out' Harry's lease so that the filthy dilapidated building can be demolished. Into this atmosphere enters another Black militant quasi-anti-Semitic writer Willie Spearmint (Snoop Dogg) whom Harry befriends, hides, and offers help to the nascent novelist's attempt to write about the death of all white people. Harry's attempts to help Willie lead to conflict, not the least of which is Harry's meeting Willie's girlfriend, the white Jewish Irene Bell (Rose Byrne) at a less than friendly gathering of Willie's militant black brothers and sisters. Willie and Irene are on the skids and Harry gradually falls in love with Irene and they plan to leave New York as soon as Harry finishes his novel. When Willie hears of the assignation and is further critiqued by Harry, Willie explodes and begins the downward descent of not only a delicate friendship but also a competition between writers. The ending 'reveals the slippery nature of the human condition, and the human capacity for violence and undoing'.

The actors do their best with a script that is a bit awkward but despite scripted lines that border on preaching they create believable characters. The cinematography enhances the story, keeping the mood dank and dense and primarily confined to the condemned building. The musical score appropriately makes use of the solo jazz trumpet and blues piano to underline the tension and isolation of each of these groundless characters. Though it takes some patience to make it through the cerebral ramblings, the film in the end is worth watching. At least it attempts to recreate Malamud's bizarre look at life in the big city. Grady Harp, April 06


"
Angry Black Man
Pamela S. Noud | Decatur, GA USA | 05/20/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)

"If you like watching the archetypal Angry Black Man (hostile & volatile), then this movie is for you. What a loathsome character Willie Spearmint is... juxtaposed against the sensitive, thoughtful, generous Lesser. Willie has a colossal chip on his shoulder, evident fr. the 2 characters' 1st meeting, when Lesser walks in from behind on Willie typing away, and Willie greets L with only unabashed indignation. Willie exudes this indignation and hatefulness every other scene. On more than one occasion, he asks Lesser for advice on his novel, then goes off on Lesser like a madman in reaction to L's conscientious & painstaking reply. Willie is an ingrate and a USER. VERY unpleasant to watch."
Clash Of The Tenants...
Michael Bolts | Superior, WI | 03/14/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Dylan McDermott (The Practice, Where Sleeping Dogs Lie) plays Harry Lesser a novelist who is the only person living in an abandoned tenant building. His last novel flopped big time but people say his first one was a classic. So, he's in his apartment, writing a new novel which he thinks will boost his career back up and become a big success. The landlord Levenspiel, played by Seymour Cassel (Royal Tenenbaums, The Crew) is letting him complete his novel, then he is out so they can demolish the tenant buildins to the ground. While doing his novel, Lesser comes upon another man in the building typing his own novel as well.....Willie Spearmint, played by Snoop Dogg (Starsky & Hutch, Bones). Willie goes to Lesser for inspiration on his novel usually which ends up with the 2 of them clashing at one each other. Willie has a white woman for a girlfriend named Irene, played by Rose Byrne (Troy, Wicker Park). Lesser becomes romantically involved with Irene and Lesser plans to complete his novel and leave with Irene. This only complicates more when Lesser tells Willie about the 2 of them. Then it gets crazier with the 2 of ruining each others lives. McDermott & Snoop are OK, so's the movie and most of the time the situations are predictable and I knew what was going to happen which leaves you bored but it's still pretty interesting and watchable. Snooooop!"
Great movie, must see!
komiq | Las Vegas, NV | 05/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Harry Lesser (Dylan McDermott), is a statutory tenant who writes on the top floor of an abandoned building, writing a novel which is taking him 10 years to complete. Willie Spearmint (Snopp Dogg), is a reloutionist writer who moves into the building, uninvited, to write his book as well. The movie is slow at some points, but having you wonder what will happen next. I can watch the movie again and again."