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.
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.
"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!
A devilish, twisted modern day noir with style to spare.
Director Stephen Frears handles the morbid material expertly -- it walks a razor thin line between dark comedy and "too disturbing to enjoy." John Cusack plays the con-man at the film's center, torn between the affections of his mother and his lover. Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening, playing the two women, tear up the screen. Both of them are like femmes fatale who wandered out of the 1940s and ended up here. We can be grateful that they got lost.
A good, good movie.
The Grifters? More like The Gifters, because this film was a gift! To myself! And how about that Cusack, huh? More like Cusick, because he gets very sick in a part of this film. Annette Benning huh? More like Annette Banging, because she does a lot of banging in this movie. Anjelica Huston, well, why don't we change her name to AnjeLIEca Huston because her character tells many a porky pie in this film. What a ride!
Tricks and cons with mom, her son and his girlfriend, all grifters with their own set of skills, scamming their way through life. Anjelica Huston rips off her mob boss (that's a mistake), John Cusack does the petty stuff and Annette Bening doesn't mind using her body to get what she wants. When they get together by accident, an explosive threesome arises. A bit of a strange film that, for a large part, feels quite cold. The music suggests something playful, but things turn rather ugly at times. The scene with the oranges for instance. And by the end it, this Oedipus noir is just plain nasty. That is not proper mommy behaviour, Lilly.
Remember feeling like Cusack was underrated when this came out and all the attention was going to Huston and Bening. I no longer feel that way.
Still, so much great Jim Thompson dime novel attitude and a terrific script by Westlake. Comfort cinema for us neo-noir fans. Always makes me wanna write an adaptation of my fave Thompson book. Someday...
Never comes together completely. The first hour is strung out and not effective at building tension or engaging us with the characters. Cusack is the weakest member of the three, Roy Dillon is supposed to be the weakest and the most two bit, but it never quite comes across the way its intended. Annette Benning is effective and quite sexy in the movie and Anjelica Huston's role is tailor made for her style.
Overall the criminal intrigue and plot strands never land as effectively as the film wishes.
The Grifters is a con-artist film starring mother Anjelica Huston, son John Cusack, and his girlfriend Annette Bening.
The movie starts by showing Huston and Cusack at work in their respective cons. Huston works for a bookie to manipulate horse-racing odds, while Cusack uses slight of hand to swindle people of their cash. Eventually, the estranged Huston and Cusack are brought together when Cusack ends up in the hospital. There, Huston and Bening meet one another and instantly dislike each other. Although the movie is staged on the foundation of confidence tricks, the movie is more about the interactions of the trio and takes on a thriller/drama approach.
I thought the movie was entertaining and fun, though the initial build-up…
A good film of a great, nasty story, hampered only by relatively unimaginative direction. If only somebody with some real visual flair had taken this on we wouldn't merely look back on it fondly as a solid neo-noir, we'd look back on it as the DEFINITIVE neo-noir.
Enjoyable neo-noir with outstanding performances by the three leads
Rather than watch the Super Bowl, which by all accounts was a tedious affair, I had a look at a film I have wanted to see for a while. Based on Jim Thompson's book of the same name, The Grifters tells the tale of three interconnected con artists. Starring John Cusack, Annette Bening and Anjelica Huston, this tale is at times funny and light hearted and at others, very down beat. I think this summarizes my problems with the movie, I'm not sure what it was supposed to be. The screenplay, written by pulp novelist Donald E. Westlake (of whose fiction I am a fan) seems consistent and in keeping with what I believe is the tone of the book.…
Complete list. :-(
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!