Robert De Niro, Ed Norton and Milla Jovovich star in this drama thriller about a convicted arsonist trying to manipulate a parole officer with the help of his beautiful wife
The credits provoke an anticipatory glow of pleasure at the prospect of astringent dialogue brilliantly delivered by a stellar cast, elegantly guided by the underrated La Cava. This was one of his finest films, with a veil of comedy concealing the conventions or clichés of the plot. This is ultimately a fairly harsh look at the less glamorous side of Broadway aspirations, as a group of actresses live their off-stage lives in a boarding house. The latter half of the movie is even more sombre, but the wondrous ensemble playing overcomes the elements of contrivance.
The plot is, in fact, unimportant, as the piece has an atmosphere and accuracy that remains entirely convincing.
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