Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey gobbles scenery in this cautionary tale about the fall of Jack Abramoff. The Washington, D.C., lobbyist with close GOP ties made headlines in 2005, when his attempt to purchase a Florida floating casino chain led to a fraud indictment. Spacey’s manic and abrasive characterization comes off as unsympathetic in a movie that swings between broad comedy and glib political satire. Still, Kelly Preston touches as Abramoff’s long-suffering wife, and Jon Lovitz finds the humor in playing a shabby coconspirator.
Here’s a great clip of Neil Rosen, Caryn James, Bill McCuddy and myself on the under-recognized NY1 Talking Pictures fall movie preview:
Us Rating ****
Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Michelle Williams) get naked physically and strip bare emotionally in this brilliant, devastatingly honest portrait of a couple whose relationship is circling the drain. Their save-the-marriage sex scene in a shabby hotel devastates because — at least for Cindy — their love has vanished. Gosling and Williams pull and stretch in vivd, career-best performances that demand Oscar recognition.
Us Rating: **
Even the gorgeous Javier Bardem cannot save this downer drama. His Barcelona criminal discovers he has prostate cancer while he’s raising two kids, coping with a bipolar ex and managing a black-market business. And as if this weren’t enough, he also sees dead people! Despite Bardem’s powerful performance, the lengthy foreign drama collapses beneath the weight of its own relentless seriousness.
National Film Registry 2010
1) AIRPLANE! (1980)
2) ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976)
3) BARGAIN, THE (1914)
4) CRY OF JAZZ (1959)
5) ELECTRONIC LABYRINTH: THX 1138 4EB (1967)
6) EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, THE (1980)
7) EXORCIST, THE (1973)
8) FRONT PAGE, THE (1931)
9) GREY GARDENS (1976)
10) I AM JOAQUIN (1969) [Read more…]