Solitary Man

Rated 3.0

This lucid and darkly comic character study gives us Michael Douglas in top form as a once successful car dealer who seems to have totaled his own life. Having courted disgrace through various indiscretions, the perpetual egoist and cynical cad now is prone to self-pitying pronouncements, like “No one can protect anyone” and “At your highest moments, and your lowest, you’re alone.” True enough, although he has a cadre of well-cast colleagues, extended family and old friends to indulge him, including Susan Sarandon, Jenna Fischer, Danny DeVito, Jesse Eisenberg, Mary-Louise Parker and Imogen Poots. Directed by David Levien and Brian Koppelman from Koppelman’s perceptive script, the film might be taking its dramatic magnitude for granted. We are in the territory of Henrik Ibsen and Arthur Miller here, with a self-ruined patriarchal capitalist in late-life crisis, but still there is the sense that without its cluster of clever performances the whole thing might seem immaterial.