directed by Steven Frears, 1990
This movie combines a lot of my favorite genre tropes and mixes them up into a great pulpy psychodrama. You got your Jim Thompson story cataloging the dark side of the American Dream as usual. You got your Frears eye for colorful mise-en-scene that makes you feel somehow boxed in and wide-open vulnerable at the same time. And of course you got the kind of acting that just knocks your socks off.
I don't think John Cusack's ever been better - brilliantly cast. Annette Bening is pitch-perfect throughout. And man that Angelica Huston... she is just such a good film actress it's insane. The highest compliment I can pay the other actors in this movie is that they manage to hold their own in the same room as her - her character here has got layers and twists and depths and just wow.
Think I may have to do a little 90s-noir festival for myself ... Red Rock West, Last Seduction, etc. Got any suggestions?
July 14, 2007