The Addiction (Abel Ferrara)

Rating: **½

I haven't much liked Ferrara's work in the past, but I enjoyed a lot of his latest. The black-and-white, shadow-drenched photography is stunning; Lili Taylor is terrific in the lead; and Nicholas St. John's script is witty and knowing. But the film, which seems to be taking itself seriously for a while, eventually develops a campy, mock-philosophical tone that ended up alienating me. I tried hard to roll with it, but by the final reel I had to admit to myself that I just didn't care anymore; I wasn't in on the joke, and I'm not even sure what the joke was, or whether it was even supposed to be a joke (if it wasn't, then I'm really confused). I should also note that the film was shot in and around NYU's Washington Square campus, where I spend most of my time, and the fact that I spent a lot of its running time thinking things like "Hey, that's over on Bleecker Street!" probably didn't do wonders for my concentration. WARNING TO CHRISTOPHER WALKEN FANS: though he's billed prominently, his role is essentially a cameo.