Saturday, September 15, 2007

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

This was my last of 35 movies at this year's Toronto Film Festival. I so wanted to like it. The acting was very good ... and what a cast. But Sidney Lumet tricked me.

The first scene is an extended sex scene between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei. Then the opening credits roll. Then we see a scene titled: "The Robbery." After that, we go back and forth in time as the story is told and more information about the robbery is revealed.

It was lots of fun trying to figure out what had really happened. As more was revealed in this out-of-order manner, the film was fun to watch and constantly surprising.

Then the last few scenes unrolled and the whole thing fell apart for me. The promise of the first scene was never realized. It was a red herring. We'd been had ... just like the scheming characters in the movie.

It left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not sure the convoluted story-telling was necessary.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Country: USA
Year: 2007
Runtime: 123 minutes
Music: Carter Burwell
Principal Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris