All of the stereotypes associated with the architectural profession and its stars, real and exaggerated, are about to be revealed in an hour-and-a-half movie starring Parker Posey (wife), Eric McCormack (husband), John Carroll Lynch (builder) and James Frain (architect).
Directed by Jonathan Parker, the The Architect‘s trailer gives you a taste of what is to come: “Often the opinion of the client must be disregarded for his own good,” says starchitect Miles Moss (Frain). “Less is only more when more is no good” (a satirical nod to Mies van der Rohe).
The story revolves around a couple that buy a tear-down house and decide to build from scratch. They spot a dwelling they like and hunt down the architect to design their dream home. It quickly becomes clear, however, that their dreams will be replaced by those of the architect, or at best: rendered in concrete, glass and steel. The wife (Posey) may also be having second thoughts about her choice of partner. Architects and architecture often take a back seat to the main story in films (see: Sleepless in Seattle), but in this picture, for better or worse, the profession is the center of attention.
As the story progresses, the architect’s masterful creation meets resistance, his impractical semi-circular spaces making for a tough sell (at least to the husband). “I don’t know why people hire architects, and then tell them what to do,” Moss wonders aloud, frustrated with his clients. Like this one, many of his lines clearly refer to quotes from famous architects both contemporary (e.g. Frank Gehry) and historical (e.g. Le Corbusier).
“These are the sleeping spaces” says the architect, pointing at the plan (“You mean bedrooms?” the husband replies) — “You could call them that” he admits, his voice dripping with superiority (architects are somewhat notorious for giving things overly-fancy names). The movie hits on movements from Modernism through Deconstructivism, wrapping them in the comedic story of a troubled couple. Love it or hate it, relate or disagree, this is a must-watch movie for fans as well as critics of the profession.