The Griftersi is a very strange piece of utter nonsense which for some reason proeminently credits Martin Scorsese notwithstanding he's not perceptibly involved.
Anjelica Huston can't act. She was ok in that thing with the disembodied hand, playing approximately the role of a surrogate Cher, a brunette with sunken cheeks whose only role in life is to throw you long glances from under her lowered brow. She's deeply incompetent otherwise, and entirely useless for any serious purpose.
This however isn't much of a concern, as her character makes absolutely no sense in the first place. Imagine, if you will, a "grifter" who "works for the mob" in the obvious capacity of a runnerii - a construction quite like floor washers with delusions of "upper class". She had a child when she was 14, which nobody knows about, somehow. Because many 14 year olds have the resources to handle their offspring in the first place, and so it is quite common for a 14 year old to also have spare resources to put towards the suppression of this information. You know, sort of like the pregnant cat who, not content to deliver by itself, also builds a magical machine to erase your memory, so you don't even recall it being pregnant. This happens all the time, neh ? (Do you recall your cat ever being pregnant ?)iii
John Cusack just sits there, a sort of younger Hugh Grant.
Annette Bening is absolutely fabulous, to see this woman that created the definitive Hillary Rodham Clinton in American Beautyiv also create an exceptional ditz with a secret that turns out she's just fucking insane - it's a treat. For some inexplicable reason they put fake stones in superbly wrought platinum, but hey. It's called Tinseltown for a reason.
Have a drink before you attempt watching this. If it's spiked all the better.———
- 1990, by Stephen Frears, with Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Annette Bening. [↩]
- Amusingly enough, there's a cameo appearance in which a guy explains that a grifter has trouble forming partnerships. How they reconcile this with employment is anyone's guess.
Moreover, her role as a runner is nonsensical in the first place. She gets money and information from a guy ; and is supposed to bring money to that guy. Yet somehow she can "skim" and there's a whole minute of canned dialogue on the topic (none of which makes any sense whatsoever). How would this work, exactly, the "mob" can't do math ?
Then there's a gratuitously stupid scene in which the "bad guy" "mob" dood is established. The problem with it isn't exactly that it has no legs to stand on - it wouldn't stand any better on its head, or on the side. It literally is an Escherian object, an item that can not be stood up on any side. Which I suppose is quite the performance. [↩]
- The plot is entirely full of holes. Picking another random example, her son proposes to her that she has to go straight because "his money won't last forever" and "if she ever comes next to a track, Bobo's men". As if somehow this Bobo is permanent (I'd be much surprised if he lasts five years) and ubiquitous. Really, like what, he got some California-like doods in London ? Paris ? Hong Kong ? Oh, wait, those places don't exist, the whole world is a soup bowl and the rim is called mexico except for the parts that are called canada. Great!
O-oooo-oooer theee laaaaa-aaa-aaand o' deeee freeeee an' deeee hoo-ooo-ooo-m' o' deeee braa-aaaa-veeeee! [↩]
- Seriously now, "I will win this presidency today! Did Donald Trump ever strip down to bra and panties and meth-clean some random house ? LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT ENERGY!!!1" [↩]