A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
A con artist working the east coast horse races for a big time bookmaker is sent on a job to L.A. While out there, she visits her scam artist son who is operating on a smaller scale and is taken aback to learn that he is dating a woman quite like herself. As both woman vie to play the son against each other, all involved are lead down a sinister and deadly path. "The Grifters" is a dark and twisty and slightly laconic modern noir from director Stephen Frears. Written by Donald E. Westlake from a novel by Jim Thompson, whose credits include early Kubrick films "Paths of Glory" and the noir classic "The Killing", "The Grifters" is sharply written and cold as a stone. Angelica Huston, wearing a Marilyn Monroe wig, is outstanding as the con woman mother whose depravity knows no bounds when it comes to getting what she wants and Annette Bening is just as fine as her son's like minded girlfriend. I've always found John Cusack to be uninteresting, and the same stands here, but both Huston and Bening carry him along nicely. Pat Hingle and J.T. Walsh have really juicy supporting roles as well. I really enjoyed the twists and turns "The Grifters", and Frears and company really gets the heart down of the genre in that it has none.