Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
A much better movie than I'd expected — I'd kind of anticipated something more precious, or that it would go for a quirkier, funnier tone, and it's so much better for not having done that.
It's bleak, for sure, and a lot of the typical resolutions you'd expect from a movie with that plot never arrive, but it's a good thing here; it takes you to these icky, desperate places and then leaves you there instead of bending over backwards to end on an up note.
Top performances from the whole cast, too; I hadn't seen the film by the time Oscar nominations came out, but in retrospect, Philip Seymour Hoffman got overlooked in the Andy role.It's "typical" Hoffman — kinda fratty, kinda nasty, kinda familiar — and yet it's not, because the script is uncompromising about the character, but without blowing him off as a douchebag.Hawke's role, same thing, and Ethan Hawke as a person (and as An Author, oh please) is annoying to me, so I forget that he's really pretty good at acting.
A lot of Sidney Lumet's work gives me a headache — if I never have to hear Network over-praised again, it will be too soon — but aside from that one passé shot choice at the end, he did everything right.Good framing, good tension, he gets away with the Rashomon chopping-up, and you spend the movie feeling like you're in the room with these guys.
Good show from everyone.I remember it getting very good reviews at the time, but it seems like not a lot of people saw it.
Tags: Ethan Hawke movies Philip Seymour Hoffman Sidney Lumet