July 22, 2005


It's a Larry Clark (Kids) film, so you know it's as feel-good as Capra and as subtle as Bergman. OK, I kid. But hey - it's got Bijou Phillips naked! Though, is she ever on film clothed? Off topic. Sorry. This is based on a real-life story involving a group of teenagers in Florida who get together and murder a nasty and abusive piece of work played by Nick Stahl. He's been beating his "best friend" Marty (Brad Renfro) for years, and he rapes two of the female characters in the film - that should give you an idea of this guy's cuddly-ness. The film is interesting on a variety of levels - as a look at wayward delinquients who are more or less happy to be slackers and losers, failing family relationships, and the tendency of groups to take more extreme actions than the individuals who comprise them ever would on their own. And it's interesting in that it shows the idiocy and lack of planning that goes into so many of the major crimes committed in this country (movies notwithstanding, lots of unpleasant folks don't set off on their work after carefully constructing a cunning plan), and the fact that often people only marginally involved get caught up in them to a scary degree.

Roger Ebert has called this film a masterpiece. I wouldn't go that far. In particular, I think he's a bit kind regarding some of the acting (not that Michael Pitt and Bijou, among others, aren't just right and highly watchable). But even if it's not a major comment on our times, or technically perfect in every way, it did hold my interest, and it dealt with serious matters in an interesting and sometime funny way. Masterpiece? Probably not. But it is diverting.

Posted by armand at July 22, 2005 12:56 PM | TrackBack | Posted to Movies

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