- The Myth of the American Sleepover (2010). Director: David Robert Mitchell. Is it possible to be nostalgic when you’re 19? Or to be nostalgic for a childhood you never really had? The movie follows four young people in Detroit as they look for love and adventure in their last week of summer. It’s easy just to follow cliches when you’re making a movie like this, but everything was surprisingly fresh and heartfelt. I also love the indie soundtrack :)
- Croupier (1998). Director: Mike Hodges. Starring: Clive Owen, Alex Kingston. Jack (Owen) is addicted to gambling, yet he says “I do not gamble.” Jack is a croupier; he is handsome yet sleazy, a perfect fit in the microcosm of the casino. He observes (or rather, looks down on) everyone with a sharp and cynical indifference until one day a glamourous woman, a client of the casino Jani (Kingston) hooks him with a scheme to cheat the casino. Clive Owen’s character is wonderfully played, and this film is worth watching, if only for his performance.
- Sleepers (1996). Director: Barry Levinson. Starring: Kevin Bacon, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Patric, Brad Pitt, Minnie Driver. After their prank goes horribly wrong and kills a man, four boys from Hell’s Kitchen are sent to a reformatory where they receive punishment and abuse far beyond their crime. The film then follows these boys as men, never having fully recovered from their childhood trauma, seeking revenge on the men that wronged them. The events in the film are sometimes agonizing to watch and even difficult to believe (the film is based on what one man asserts personally happened to him), but portrayed with honesty and intensity by great acting talent.
- Carlito’s Way (1993). Director: Martin Bregman. Starring: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller. Carlito Brigante (Pacino) is freed early from a lengthy prison sentence when his sleazy, crack-addict lawyer Dave Kleinfeld (Penn) exploits a technicality in the case. Carlito is determined to “go straight” and save up enough money to leave his old life forever. He takes a job and restarts a previous romantic relationship, but almost immediately, Carlito is drawn back into the criminal world to perform one final favor for his lawyer. When the favor goes horribly wrong, he has to make a run for it.
- Also Dog Day Afternoon and … and Justice for All both of which I’ve already raved about in an earlier post. https://chocolatepluscheese.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/let-actors-act/