Lee Tergesen plays Gerry in this independent
movie filmed that has drawn great praise for its twisty plot and
Shot in upstate New York in December 2009, "Silver Tongues" premiered at the
Slamdance Film Festival
Jan. 23, 2011, and earned the festival's Audience Sparky Award for
Best Narrative Film. Slamdance is known as a scrappy alternative to
the Sundance Film Festival. Both call Park City, Utah,
The movie went on the film festival circuit
throughout 2011 and had its New York City premiere Nov. 18-24 at
the reRun GastroPub Theater in Brooklyn. The Nov. 23 screening
featured an appearance by Lee Tergesen and director Simon Arthur in
"Silver Tongues" was released on DVD in the U.S. on May 29, 2012. [Amazon
In an article from
Indiewire.com on Sept. 1, 2010, Producer Jared Moshe noted that writer/director
Simon Arthur "was a huge fan of Lee Tergesen from 'Oz,' where he
showed an incredible talent in his ability to show a huge range of
emotions and personalities, so we went after him first. Simon and I
early on agreed that we wanted to cast the film around the best
actors for the roles rather than stunt cast."
Furthermore, Arthur has said: "Lee gives a
brilliant performance, and in a way he’s playing five different
Here are some
notes on the film and praise for Lee's performance from Drea
Clark, programmer for the Slamdance Film Festival.
Watching this cat-and-mouse game, where you
are certain of nothing (including who is the cat and who is the
mouse), is a sexy, thought-provoking treat. The controlled
charisma of the two leads, Lee Tergesen and Enid Graham, brings
intensity to multi-layered performances that shimmer and respond
to each exchange, situation and nuance. By setting these animals
loose in an almost vignette-style structure, director Simon
Arthur lets them breathe, pace and shift in each environment.
You never quite know who is pulling what strings, and you
definitely never want to look away.
A preview of "Silver Tongues" for the 13th
annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, also
includes great praise for Lee:
The narrative itself is structurally
similar to David Mamet's complex, unreliable stories, minus the
stylized dialogue, but is certainly enhanced by Lee Tergesen
and Enid Graham, both of whom can simply own scenes with a mere
gesture. It's a wholly unpleasant journey that begins with
deceit, moves through despair, and then veers headlong into
derangement, winking at viewers along the way and wallowing in
its own clever tricks. (Source:
Black & White City Paper)
The Hollywood Reporter has a prediction and some praise in a
Sept. 22, 2011, review.
While the film may be too slight to warrant
domestic theatrical exposure, DVD, TV and VOD beckon for a
production that's much less about striking visuals than
debate-provoking ideas and strong performances. ...
That Silver Tongues remains consistently engaging and absorbing
is due in no small part to Graham and Tergesen, who make the
most of roles that provide much scope for challenging
Encore Online reviewed the film before its screening at the
Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, N.C., Nov. 12:
"Silver Tongues" is a sharply unsettling
and biting debut from Scottish writer/director Simon Arthur.
Expanding on his U.K.-set 2007 short of the same name, Arthur
explores the themes of deception, manipulation and sexual
control in this tightly-wound psychological drama. ... Arthur
doesn’t pull any punches here. He lets the calm pacing of the
film slowly build tension, without relying on obvious or cliché
cues for its taut moments. The film gives no backstory for its
main characters -- two traveling lovers who get off on deceit --
instead Arthur lets audiences fill in the details for
...Lee Tergesen and Enid Graham fully embody the role-playing
sociopaths identified only in the credits as "Gerry" and "Joan."
The film is structured around four vignettes, in which Gerry and
Joan manipulate their way throughout New England (the film was
shot in upstate New York), passing through others’ lives whilst
conducting various kinds of social experiments for their own
"Silver Tongues" isn’t easily palatable, with its unsettling
undercurrent in the vein of Steven Soderbergh’s "Sex, Lies and
Videotape." However, its rewarding ending leaves a memorable but
disturbing aftertaste with plenty of food for thought.
The official synopsis of the movie says "Silver
Tongues" follows a couple, Gerry and Joan, who use their talent for
acting and performance as part of a dark game.
Driving from town to town, the two lovers don
different personas to deceive and destroy the lives of the people
and communities in their path. But each manipulation takes its toll.
Soon the performances spiral out of control, and the game grows
treacherous and they turn against each other.
Joan is played by Broadway actress Enid Graham.
(in photo at right) has a supporting role as Fiona,
a member of a reverend’s congregation who goes through an emotional
and moral roller coaster and ultimately winds up defending and
supporting her spiritual leader. (Source)
Scottish filmmaker Simon Arthur also created a short film of the
same title and theme in 2007. The synopsis of the award-winning
short is as follows: A wandering couple travel the road,
becoming different people in each town they descend upon,
playing a gleefully sadistic game of deceit.
The [London] Guardian sums up the feature-length movie in a
Sept. 29, 2011, review:
... Silver Tongues is a really well-crafted
psychological drama, made with terrific technical flair: clearly
influenced by David Mamet but nonetheless very distinctive and
supremely watchable. A married couple are apparently travelling
around the country, pretending to be people that they're not,
manipulating the people that they meet sexually, playing
mind-games and generally messing with their heads. But as the
action progresses, and we see them in various different
situations, Arthur permits the audience to wonder if they are
messing with each other's heads as well.