Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Posts Tagged ‘American Beauty’

Road to Perdition – Starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law & Daniel Craig

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 14 January 2012

Road to Perdition (2002) Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty (1999), Jarhead (2005), Revolutionary Road (2008)), starring Tom Hanks (Cast Away (2000), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), and others), Paul Newman (The Hustler (1961), The Verdict (1982), Nobody’s Fool (1994), and, of course, many, many other excellent films) , Daniel Craig (Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)), Jude Law (partial filmography below) and others.  This gangster drama, a Hollywood interpretation of the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins, set in and around Chicago in the winter of 1931, features an excellent Tom Hanks, as a father, hitman, and yet another man of few words, working for regional mob boss, John Rooney, a superb and essential Paul Newman, in his last theatrical screen appearance, who in turn works for Frank Nitty, an underboss for the legendary Al Capone.  Featuring some excellent acting on the part of Hanks, Newman, and to a lesser degree Daniel Craig, as Connor Rooney, John Rooney’s (Newman) deviously corrupt, violent and spoiled son, it must  be said that the exquisite cinematography by Conrad L. Hall is almost the real star of the film: rain, especially, and water in general, is used as an almost ever-present motif, with snow magnificently used to filter the light and create a general Hopper-esque  darkness with discrete pockets of light, and creates an ominous sense of environment, illuminating characters in ways that underscore their moral ambiguity. Yet, with the simplified moral structure of a traditional western, heaven, hell, the possibility of redemption, the film also adheres to the epigrammatic nature of the graphic novel on which it is based, and to the character of its graphic images: much is half in shadow, people, their faces, rooms, streets.  However, it must be said that the Hollywoodian character of the production does at times dominate, with a rather sentimental and falsely moving voice-over and some equally sappy music.  Jude Law, though adequately repulsive as a photographer/assassin necessary to the logic of the screenplay, once again shows his severe limitations, especially in contrast to the performances by the rest of the cast, and it’s a shame the character portrayed by Daniel Craig wasn’t further developed; it may have given the film the edge it somehow lacks despite all of the film’s remarkable qualities.  Nevertheless, for the wonderful acting of Hanks and Newman, and the superlative cinematography, Road to Perdition is a film very much worth viewing. (PR)

See our post on the films Sherlock Holmes, Repo Men and Closer, starring Jude Law.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):

top image: Wikipedia


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Guilty by Suspicion – Starring Robert De Niro & Annette Bening

Posted by the editors on Thursday, 29 December 2011

Guilty by Suspicion (1991)  Written and directed by Irwin Winkler (The Net (1995), Home of the Brave (2006)), starring Robert De Niro (Analyze This (1999), The Good Shepherd (2006), Limitless (2011) and many others), Annette Bening (American Beauty (1999), The Kids Are All Right (2010)) and others.  Robert De Niro is superb in this drama about a successful Hollywood film director, David Merrill, portrayed with great humanism by De Niro, in the midst of the Hollywood Blacklist and the U.S. Congress‘s House Un-American Activities Committee‘s witch-hunt for Communists in the film and television industry in the 1950s.  Merrill (De Niro) goes from high-flying, Hollywood insider to joblessness, tracked incessantly by the FBI, as are many of his friends and colleagues in the film industry, as we watch the devastating effects on individuals and families, and the anguish of their impossible moral dilemmas, brought about by the government in its fanatical pursuit of Communists, real or imagined.  The atmosphere of the film, and the detailed care given to its creation, is highly effective, the writing is almost always excellent, and the acting really very good; De Niro as Merrill is outstanding, naturally enough, but Annette Bening as Ruth Merrill, his estranged wife, is also, frankly, close to perfect.  Guilty by Suspicion is a must-see film, not simply for the atmosphere and the acting, but also as a relatively unsentimental look at a horrific chapter in American history. (PR)

See our posts on the films The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert De Niro, Limitless, starring Bradley Cooper with Robert De Niro, and What Just Happened starring Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and Bruce Willis.

We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks.  Have a great personal film library..  Here are links to (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, where available):

top image: Wikipedia

Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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