Michael Almereyda's Stanley Milgram film Experimenter, starring Peter Sarsgaard, saw its world premiere last week at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, but the project has been in the family of Sloan-supported films for much longer. Back in 2008, Almereyda was awarded a commissioning grant through Sloan's partnership with the Sundance Institute and he later won a production grant through the Tribeca Film Institute in 2009.
The film will surely hit theaters sometime in 2015, but trade reviews are starting to roll in.
Scott Foundas at Variety quite likes the film, contending that, "The controversial social psychologist Stanley Milgram gets a biopic as polymorphous as one of his own research studies in Experimenter, a highly formal, always fascinating movie from writer-director Michael Almereyda, who here delivers his most fully realized effort in the 15 years since his modern-dress Hamlet starring Ethan Hawke.
Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore concurs: "Technically puckish where appropriate but grounded by strong performances from Peter Sarsgaard and Winona Ryder, the film is not awards bait but makes some Big Thinker biographies that are look staid. It seems certain to be the deliberately fringe-dwelling auteur's most commercially successful film, and may be his most aesthetically satisfying one as well."
"When Peter Sarsgaard’s Stanley Milgram walks down a grayish-blue hallway and makes a reference to the Holocaust, an elephant suddenly appears a few paces behind him. The unanswered questions of Nazism are always 'in the room' with Milgram, no surprise for a child of Jewish refugees who grew up in the 1940s. These unexpected bits of cinematic spit on the ball are just what’s needed to elevate Michael Almereyda’s thorough biopic about the controversial social psychologist from an information dump to an artistic riff on one of the 20th century’s most important intellectuals," adds Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian in his four-star review.
Meanwhile, over at the LA Times, Kenneth Turan offers an interview with Almereyda about his "sly and thoughtful" film.