The Treatment

Oren Rudavsky

Ever since I saw Chris Eigeman in Whit Stillman’s Barcelona, I became a fan of the actor’s uniquely neurotic delivery of dialogue and the way he can make the most complicated paragraphs of scripted words sound naturally effortless. Over the years, since his scene stealing performance in Stillman’s Metropolitan, Eigeman has attracted some truly innovative writers such as Noah Baumbach (Kicking and Screaming) and television scribes including Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls) and Peter Mehlman (It’s Like You Know). Therefore it’s only fitting that the favorite character actor of wordsmiths is portraying an English teacher at an upper class New York prep school in his latest film. In Oren Rudavsky’s The Treatment which was co-written by Rudavsky and Daniel Saul Housman based on the book by Daniel Menaker, Eigeman plays teacher Jake Singer who’s reached a dead-end in not only his professional life but personal one as well. His only “long-term” relationship (if you could call it that) is with Dr. Ernesto Morales (Ian Holm), Jake’s unorthodox Argentine psychiatrist who uses strange tactics and insults to try and help his patient. While the focus of the film (especially given the title) is on Jake’s therapy as he tries to get over his past love and becomes romantically interested in wealthy widow Allegra Marshall (Famke Janssen), I found that the least interesting storyline and was far more intrigued by Allegra’s situation which grew more complicated throughout. Utilizing the award-winning MacArthur Foundation Genius award recipient John Zorn who created the film’s score and gifted cinematographer Andrij Parekh (Half Nelson), it’s a beautiful if slightly disappointing work that should nonetheless win over Eigeman’s fans. Winner of the Best Film Made in New York award at the Tribeca Film Festival where the film premiered, it has also made the rounds of some of our most respected festivals before New Yorker Films released the DVD.