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.
First time seeing this in 25 years. The performances of Cusack, Huston, and Bening (the latter two Oscar-nominated) hold up, but holy shit, that is some badass Pat Hingle.
Not as great as it once was, and it's a bit uneven throughout, but the ending third was top notch. Annette Bening was fantastic.
One of the great L.A. noirs, period but not in period, dreamlike, savage. Splendid, with a gallery of great character actors supporting the flawless leads, none better than a blood-freezing Pat Hingle, wielding oranges.
Lilly Dillon played by Anjelica Huston is such a cool, flawed yet indestructible and mature character, I really wish middle-aged women, older women, and just women in general were not so underrepresented in movies and were given more significant roles and scripts to work with. Even by drama standards, and god I've seen many of those, a film genre largely dominated by women, you don't see too many actresses in their 30's and counting who haven't already earned their notoriety. It becomes even more troubling when their male counterparts only seem to accelerate their stardom status the older they get.
As it stands today in cinema, young actors and actresses are desired, older actors are respected, and older actresses get…
Watched it the first time since college and damn it was much darker than I expected. Much more of a horror/suspense film than a con film which I totally forgot. Annette Benning really shined in this movie. Don't know why Cusak couldn't really follow up with better parts after this movie, but he was definitely out-acted by both Angelica Houston and Benning in almost every scene so I guess that answers that. Definitely don't need to see this one again but Frears did some interesting stuff with the intercutting which was probably much cooler when it first came out in 1990.
3 out of 5 (B-)
Okay film. I really liked Anjelica Huston, but didn't like the ending at all.
Nothing is surprising—the plot's economical progression supplies everything we need to accept each subsequent step without question—but it feels underwhelming when we're unsure of the darkness to come. It's as though Frears crafted two separate movies, smooshing them together without realizing they were so different in tone.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!