Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Watching: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

They say Hollywood can be a tough place for actresses over 40 -- hell, 25. For instance, Marisa Tomei, age 42. She's not exactly a household name, but she has won an Oscar (OK, it was for My Cousin Vinny, but still) and been nominated for several other awards.

That's all very nice. In this movie, she (or her body double) is called upon to have graphic, gratuitous sex with the sweaty, flabby Philip Seymour Hoffman, right in the opening scene. OK, he's an Oscar winner, too, but it's not the same thing, is it? Later, she has a topless scene with Ethan Hawke. (She's topless, he's not.)

OK, she does have one good, fully clothed scene later in the movie, where she actually gets to, like, act and stuff, with words and crying and tears and everything. Still, kind of slim pickings. I guess she can always go home and gaze at her Oscar statue, which not every actress can.

The movie itself was a bit of a disappointment. Like Reservoir Dogs, there is a jewelry store robbery that goes horribly wrong, and the story is told in a looping fashion, with lots of flashbacks tied to particular characters. Reservoir Dogs notoriously featured one character pretty much bleeding to death throughout the whole movie, another character getting his ear sliced off and being doused with gasoline, and everybody dead after a big Mexican standoff at the end. But it was fun, and funny, and stylish. This movie was stylish, but unpleasant and tiresome. The robbers have no way out, and the second half just consists of them getting more and more desperate as their situation gets worse and worse as they get deeper and deeper into trouble. The film wasn't bad; it just didn't make for a very pleasant night at the movies.

No comments: