Anton Chekhov’s play about a couple of writers — one nascent, one established —and a couple of actresses — one aspiring, one not retiring — gathered for a family reunion at a lake house in the country proves to be unfilmable, at least here. It could be that the manifest artifice of the stage is essential to making the declarative dialogue work, or the use of repeated scenes seem less, well, staged. Unrequited lover Elisabeth Moss’s delivery of a line like “I’m in mourning for my life” would make a great meme, but that’s partly because, as with so many of the performances from the quality cast, it feels hermetically sealed off from the general goings on. Moss, Saoirse Ronan, Annette Bening & Co. aren’t acting together so much as they are acting near each other. As a result, a story full of passion and longing and rage and betrayal comes across as abstract verging on bloodless. Directed by Michael Mayer. (2017) — Matthew Lickona
This movie is not currently in theaters.