" Look how she moves! That’s just like Jell-O on springs. "
— Jack Lemmon (regarding Marilyn Monroe), Some Like it Hot

MRQE Top Critic

Noi Albinoi

Mystery and ambivalence about this Bleak portrait of isolation are amplified on DVD —Marty Mapes (DVD review...)

Noi the Albino spends winter in Iceland alone

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What I expected from a movie called The Singing Detective was a gumshoe musical, whatever that might look like. And although that description fits — there are musical numbers, lip-synced by the cast, and there are pulp-novel cliches — it’s not the right one.

Downey confuses his past with his fiction
Downey confuses his past with his fiction

The Singing Detective (adapted from a TV miniseries) is a psychoanalytic trip through the mind of a writer. It’s set in the modern day. Dan Dark (Robert Downey, Jr.) is recovering from a disfiguring burn. His fever dreams are Freudian flashbacks to a childhood he has confused with his own pulp crime novel called “The Singing Detective.” Mel Gibson dons a bald pate and googly glasses to portray Dr. Gibbon, a psychiatrist who helps Dark work through his problems.

Whatever a “gumshoe musical” might have been, it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting as this movie is. The Singing Detective is layered, substantive, and thought-provoking. It is a movie to talk about with friends afterwards.