See Adam Resurrected with an appearance by Paul Schrader this Tuesday
For an actor with as much talent and brand value as Jeff Goldblum, it seems odd that the number of lead roles he’s taken in recent years can be counted on one hand. Since 2004, he’s been cast as the smug aristocrat to the teenage trustafarian (Igby Goes Down), the “part-gay” Alistair Hennessey to Bill Murray’s Steve Zissou, and has generally been typecast for his continental charm over his real range as an actor. In Adam, Resurrected, however, Goldblum amends this oversight with one of the most forceful roles of his career, playing a Holocaust survivor and mental patient tormented by memories of the war.
Set in the remote reaches of the Israeli desert, the story centers around Adam, a former Weimar-era performer who survived the war by playing ‘dog’ to an SS commander, living on all fours in the hope it would ultimately spare his family. When it didn’t, Adam was left stigmatized and alone, the sole Jewish occupant of post-war Berlin.
Literalizing Jewish guilt in the form of stigmata, Adam’s past recurs to him through physical illness, manifesting itself through tumors, bleeding and flashbacks that suddenly find their match when a new figure enters the hospital: a boy who believes himself to be a dog. Interweaving the surrealism of mental disease with the trauma of the past, Adam, Resurrected explores the psychological afterimages of war with a bizarre and touching originality, and in the process, allows Goldblum to demonstrate his true nuance and skill.