Bernard Rose's gimlet-eyed look at Hollywood's soul-shriveling culture of excess grafts the cautionary tale of late CAA agent Jay Moloney, who ended a drug-fueled spiral into ruin by committing suicide in 1997 (Rose was one of his clients), onto Leo Tolstoy's somber novel The Death of Ivan Ilyich
(1886). The result is surprisingly successful, which may be why it languished without distribution for two years. The film opens as agent extraordinaire Ivan Beckman (Danny Huston) is rushed to Cedars Sinai hospital; later, a nurse calls his office with the news of his death. Co-workers, clients and friends make the appropriate sympathetic noises while calculating the...