“This new take on the 1896 theatrical milestone gets the casting right; ditto the tone of comedy running right up against tragedy until something breaks. Annette Bening deserves a garland of superlatives as Arkadina, the miserly theater diva who is in denial about aging and the insecure playwright son Konstantin (Billy Howle) she only pretends to give a damn about. Visiting her country estate, where her older brother Sorin (Brian Dennehy) lives with Konstantin, Our Lady of the Perpetual Melodramatics is every inch the grand dame. To boost her ego, she has brought along her younger lover, Trigorin (Corey Stoll, mesmerizing), the famed writer who makes her offspring nervous. The son adores and abhors his mother, which leads to an incomprehensible avant-garde play that insults her success. “We need new forms,” he proclaims pouting. That leaves his actress girlfriend/muse Nina (Saoirse Ronan) to bask in the glow of the author’s celebrity…and his seductive charm. It’s a setup for disaster, and Mayer makes a lively game of it… The Seagull flies on the wings of humor and heartbreak that made it a Chekhov classic in the first place” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. PG-13. 98 Min.