Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2007. Miramax, Spyglass Entertainment, Laurence Mark Productions, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation. Screenplay by Scott Frank. Cinematography by Alar Kivilo. Produced by Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Laurence Mark, Walter F. Parkes. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by David Brisbin. Costume Design by Abram Waterhouse. Film Editing by Jill Savitt.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt survived the prom night car crash that killed two of his friends, but only barely: his mind has been left permanently affected, his memory unreliable and his ability to sequence the events of the day unstable at best. Working a job as a night janitor at a bank, he longs to get back to where he was before the accident but has hindrances. His boss justifiably has concerns about him becoming a bank teller, and his father is hesitant to help him become a business entrepreneur with his chef roommate (Jeff Daniels) who is also blind. Opportunity knocks when a thug from high school (Matthew Goode) shows up and offers to let our hero in on a bank robbery. Heist movies are a dime a dozen, and while Scott Frank’s directorial debut doesn’t manage to overturn the genre with anything new, it is a worthy entry. The writing is strong and, like all good movies inspired by 40s film noir, the characters are even stronger. Goode gives a particularly memorable performance, somehow managing a bone-chilling American criminal despite so far showing a penchant for playing yummy, preppy Brits.