March 26, 2024- I saw Spacey’s new film, Peter Five Eight, a punishingly awkward misfire that splits the difference between a religious allegory and an anti-alcoholism PSA, on Sunday night at the only theater in Los Angeles screening it — and I was the entire audience. Even with a full house, it would have been a stretch to call this a comeback. In fact, Spacey is a bit rusty when it comes to commanding the frame, sluggish in his attempts at intimidation. Also a bit jowlier these days, and still speaking with a hint of the hammy drawl he used for Frank Underwood in House of Cards, Spacey as the mysterious Peter is closer to Elmer Fudd than Anton Chigurh — and it doesn’t help that he’s often wearing a jaunty fedora with a feather on it.

We all know how he fell so far: at the height of the #MeToo reckoning in 2017, actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of making a sexual advance on him at a party in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. Spacey issued a statement to the effect that he remembered no such encounter and was officially coming out as gay — a detail that some LGBTQ celebrities criticized as an attempt at deflection. More than a dozen others then came forward against Spacey with allegations of sexual misconduct or assault spanning from the 1980s to the present.