Movies that are slightly off.
Seduction. Betrayal. Murder. Who's conning who?
A young short-con grifter suffers both injury and the displeasure of reuniting with his criminal mother, all the while dating an unpredictable young lady.
Part of Noir-November
“You wouldn’t do that.” “You don’t know what I’d do—you have no idea—to live.”
The word “grift” originated in the early twentieth century as an amalgam of “graft” and “drift,” a way to describe those itinerant conmen who followed the era's traveling circuses and sideshows swindling folks out of a buck or two. It’s a perfect word, really—descriptive and textured, with hints of both hard work and dishonesty, a combination of attraction and repulsion that any con artist brings with him. A common thief steals out of desperation or greed or ill will, but a grifter...well, a grifter doesn’t want to take your money so much as convince you to give it to her. She aims to…
The Grifters is a neo-noir film directed by Stephen Frears and produced by Martin Scorsese that tells the story of Roy Dillon, a con man who's stuggling to balance his relationship with his girlfriend and with his mother, who hate each other. It's a very fresh take on the 'con artist' genre (if that exists) because Stephen Frears' film never gets dull and the director provides us a well told story, compelling dialogue and likeable characters.
Stephen Frears' film has almost everything I like about this type of movies. First of all, The Grifters is a dialogue-heavy crime film, which is something that will always get my attention as long as it's well written, which happens in this film. Adapting…
Stephen Frears' "The Grifters" is a competent con-person drama that blends touches of light, dark, crime, and family politics. It is an engaging piece of work that is at its best when Frears focuses on his characters' criminal streaks but becomes slightly sodden when their interactions with one another take center stage.
At times, "The Grifters" is a jazzy crime drama where criminal machinations and the long and short grifts of its characters are capably entertaining. When the film's narrative sensibilities turn to the drama linking its three main characters, the whole affair seems to tire. Its twisty plot, however, still offers enough to compel.
The production has a limited scope, but Frears puts together something that feels more expansive.…
Director: Stephen Frears (Final Film)
The Grifters is a pulpy Oedipal story influenced strongly by Greek tragedy and my earliest comparison to another film comes in the form of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror Psycho.
This film isn't a horror, and perhaps due to my real lack of knowledge regarding neo-noir I'm stuck for anything real to connect it to, but what I loved about the film, and the characters especially is that they're essentially conning everyone else, but also they're conning themselves. Conning themselves into believing what they want to believe and overall, the film, despite me not really having talked much about it, is a spectacularly performed and put together tour of excellence.
It's a twisty sleight of the hand that proves to be a slightly complex con act performed by an accomplished and confident Stephen Frears. I'm not one to often recommend a film, but this is certainly at least well worth watching.
"Well, who's a boy gonna talk to if not his mother?"
Who would have thought Lester Burnham's wife could play a conniving Bimbo to perfection?
John Cusack excels in a restrained performance.
Anjelica Huston as expected nails down the part of the experienced grifter who has seen it all.
A juicy neo noir with killer lines with twists and turns around the corner!
What starts off as another simple con movie about grifters quickly delves into a fascinating character study.
The film is filled with spine tingling twists throughout and never ceases to keep the viewer wondering who's going to get conned.
All three lead actors: John Cusack, Annette Bening,and Anjelica Huston(especially Huston) give some of the best performances of their careers. Each scene becomes a model for great acting as well as brilliant storytelling.
Stephen Frears really went all out with this film and raises the "con story" to the heights of greek tragedy. The finale is so stunning and it leaves the viewer only hanging on for more.
Subtle theme of the film could be boiled down to "crime doesn't pay"; but the complexities of this theme crash down on all three main characters as well as the viewer.
(7/8 is "Very Good")
Can a con artist truly have a happy relationship with another? No.
Seriously though it's refreshing to see a movie about con artists that's not one big con, and which observes it's characters far better than most. These people like their trade - they got into it out of desire, not out of desperation. They like the "cool" of it.
Even when they're arguing, our male lead will neatly light his female companion's cigarette with perfect expectation.
This is my favorite film. Why? Direction. Casting. Story. Tone.
Jim Thompson writings made a new arrival around 1990, where multiple productions of his books were made. This was the best. Some of the tone of his books are very difficult to translate. Subjects such as incest and undianosed metal problems and alcoholism are consistent themes throughout.
This is a film that forgets about getting the image of noir right and knows that it is the tone of the material that makes noir, not some blinds and black and white. This is noir con man laced with harrowing events and a story with vicious and brutal characters that I have seen so many times they are familiar to me. And the test of any favorite film is not if you can share it to others but if you share it to others and could care less about their reactions. Knowing that it is something that you yourself love is enough.
Despite being a big John Cusack fan, this was a film that had managed to slip under my radar. It got a number of Academy Award nominations including a nomination for director Stephen Frears. Frears was also responsible for another John Cusack leading favorite of mine, High Fidelity. While Fidelity is the superior film to my mind, The Grifters is a fun crime drama with clever splashes of dark humor throughout and is benefited by three strong leads.
Grifters are a term given to con artists in this film. Perhaps this is a real-world term as well, though not one I had heard before. The film follows each of their set of cons as all three of them are connected.…
Too formless for my tastes, though I'm a sucker for a good grift. I don't think of John Cusack as a cool actor, but when he switches a twenty dollar bill for a ten he somehow becomes the slickest motherfucker in the world. Annette Benning and Anjelica Huston are fantastic as well, though I wish the script allowed all three actors to butt heads more often than they do. Rare moments of performance ping-pong pop up here and there, but The Grifters stays too committed to a slow burn and misses opportunities to sizzle. The odd tone doesn't help either, never really committing to a black comedy about a dysfunctional family or a dark neo-noir about human selfishness. Due to…
The Grifters doesn't hold it's characters up on a pedestal. There are no elaborate and adrenaline filled cons that we see play out before our eyes which complete takes the audience off their feet. The only grift of that nature we see is instead narrated in a flashback with the payoff already revealed and even then we have serous doubts about what is being said. The only things we actually see play out in real time lack any sort of romantic panache to them. They are either kind of pathetic small-time stuff or a longer play against the mob which carries sever risk. And at points during each there are scary moments of physical violence that come as part of…
Well, I love John Cusack, that hasn't changed after watching this film. There were a lot of great shots used throughout the film, especially the overhead and side-by-side shots. The Grifters also had a great score!
Stephen Frears imbocca la strada del noir moderno con risultati soddisfacenti e all'altezza della situazione. Un film sorretto dalla falsità e abitato da personaggi subdoli che costeggiano la vita. Il merito della riuscita va sicuramente diviso con la buona prova del cast, nobilitato dalla presenza di Anjelica Huston in un ruolo splendidamente ambiguo, che non viene risolto nemmeno dopo i titoli di coda. John Cusack è un perfetto damerino con la faccia di bronzo, per nulla pronto ad incassare i colpi inferti dalla vita. Da un racconto di Jim Thompson.
Jim Thompson was a very skilled and interesting writer of American neo-noir, one of whom it is said brought Greek tragedy to the underclasses. The Grifters is certainly a fine example of that, but having read the book and now (finally!) seen Stephen Frears' film adaptation I'd like to argue that it is screenwriter Donald E Westlake (a classic noir author in his own right, responsible for the Parker novels made famous by the classic Lee Marvin movie Point Blank - which itself brilliant brought to life by a British director, John Boorman) who truly captures a magic that remained - for me at least - frustratingly out of reach within the actual novel, to dazzling effect.
Why is Westlake'…
I don't need matches
Complete list. :-(
Scavenger Hunt (July 2016)
Original list: letterboxd.com/be_lan/list/travel-the-world-scavenger-hunt-july-2016/
Just two re-watches this time - Trainspotting and The Bang Bang Club