3.5 stars out of 4

Leah Fay Goldstein plays an actress with marginal talent. Fortunately, she really can act, otherwise Diamond Tongues would be a serious waste of time.

Instead, thanks to Goldstein’s performance and a smart screenplay that knows its subject well — the life of struggling thespians — it’s a film of dark wit and uncommon depth.

The story follows the travails of Edith (Goldstein) as life delivers one blow after another, including roommate Clare (Leah Wildman), who’s more talented and successful and ex-boyfriend Ben, who lands the lead in a low-budget horror film despite having no experience. David John Phillips is devastating as predatory acting coach Derek.

The film starts out with Edith, cast as “annoyed customer” extra, engaging in small talk with a bored crew guy. With her bleached blond hair and ruby lips, she comes across as childlike.

But there are far darker currents below the surface and it’s amazing how well the neophyte Goldstein captures a character whose envy, craftiness and ambition make her both unlikeable yet totally believable.
But there is faint hope for Edith in a script laden with mordant humour that offers a climactic scene in which she begins to see her true self, offering hope for redemption.

By Bruce DeMara

Source: Toronto Star