DIRECTED BY BRIAN KOPPELMAN AND DAVID LEVIEN
Michael Douglas is Ben, an alpha male led astray by his greed and his zipper. Once owner of a very successful car dealership empire, his personal and professional lives have collapsed around him as a scandal led to losing his company, his marriage to Nancy (Susan Sarandon), and most of all, his money. Hitting 60 years-old with possible health issues but still quite the ladies man, Ben feels like he’s moving backwards and leans on his married daughter (Jenna Fischer) for support. When his new girlfriend, Jordan (Mary-Louise Parker), asks him to help out her daughter who’s a perspective student at Ben’s alma mater, he can’t help but cross the line. And while he’s back on campus, he even befriends the young and naïve Cheston (Jesse Eisenberg), whom Ben tries to mold into a version of himself in his college years. Directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien, co-writers of Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans 13, flirt with comedy with lots of sharp, witty lines and Danny DeVito’s role as an old friend of Ben’s. But SOLITARY MAN works best as a brilliant character study of an outrageous and ageing Casanova, perfectly embodied by Douglas in his best role in years.