Sunday, 23 January 2011
Not quite a gangster movie
Lover: Taken from IMDB
"The Coen brothers are artists too, and their cool dazzler is an elegy to a day when Hollywood could locate moral gravity in a genre film for grown ups. In a Prohibition-era war between Irish and Italian gangs, the aide (Gabriel Byrne) to a shady politician (Albert Finney) tries to broker a peace – but then he and his employer fall for the same woman. Here are the Coens at the top of their game, with a dark saga, almost operatic in tone, that pays homage to the films of the time it depicts, and also to the stories of Dashell Hammett. The acting is spell-binding, with Byrne and Finney both mesmeric, and the sense of menace the brothers conjure up is squirmingly uncomfortable – especially when the action reaches that remote part of the woods named in the title, a favoured location for assassinations."
A fair enough review which had i not watched after the Coens No Country for Old Men I would have completely agreed with. The fear in No Country is far ore tangible than millers crossing. for me it was a little too predictable to be that uncomfortable.
Hater: Taken from IMDB
"A monument to style over substance, "Miller's Crossing" may quite possibly be the worst gangster film ever made. Apparently the Coen's couldn't decide to play this rip-off of Hammett's "The Glass Key" straight or for laughs with the result being a dreadful mishmash that's virtually unwatchable. Gabriel Byrne's laconic performance is soporific. John Polito humiliates himself with an over-the-top performance and given his career of embarrassingly poor performances, that's saying a lot. The rest of the cast either sleepwalks or hams their way through this dreadfully paced piece of dreck. The Coen's script appears to have been written during an extended bender and is practically incomprehensible. The only positive I one can say about "Miller's Crossing" is that the cinematography was not particularly bad."
This is really harsh, The Coens can sometimes come across as a little pretentious with their direction, but they have never let us down on dialogue or pulling some fantastic performances from every actor they work with!
What i thought:
It's the first in my Coen Brother double bill, as i catch up on ones I've missed. Millers crossing is the Coens taking on the gangster genre but I didn't really feel it was a genre movie. more a character study of it's main antagonists, at this it is superb, every character of importance written to and performed to perfection. Each one has a character arc that is clearly defined and everyone effects the story, in short perfect Coens!
for me though it wasn't that tense, i loved the story finding it's way through tense sections, but they were predictable. I don't want to tell you what happened but Id seen every death coming, which didn't spoil the film at all but its no way as tense as say something like No Country.
A final word for the Cinematography, it's beautiful with the hat blowing in the wind and colour tones as dark as the time and the tone of the movie;It's stunning.
Labels: Millers Crossing