Welcome to New York

Welcome to New York ★★★★½

WELCOME TO NEW YORK encapsulates Ferrara's career in a linear arc, moving from softcore erotica to bullish crime procedural before dumping out in screw-tightening psychological chamber drama that wrings out unexpectedly human empathy without ever offering absolution for its subject. Many things to pore over, from Depardieu's animalistic performance to Ferrara's deceptively stately direction, which slips so casually into Devereaux's POV that it's hard to realize you're in it until you pick up on the fact that people start to resemble commodities who exist to serve him. Above all I was fascinated how it manages to emphasize the extent to which people of color are marginalized both by a legal system and by filmmaking writ large, especially films that purport to capture New York but only ever hang out with white people. (In that sense, Devereaux's status as a lapsed leftist whose behavior is indistinguishable from the most reactionary monsters seems to double (or triple or quadruple, given how many layers Ferrara is operating on) as a critique of so-called liberal directors who regularly erase the already disenfranchised.)

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