Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1992. Hollywood Pictures, ISIS, Mansfield Pictures, Propaganda Films, Sandollar. Screenplay by Robert J. Avrech. Cinematography by Andrzej Bartkowiak. Produced by Steve Golin, Howard Rosenman, Sigurjon Sighvatsson. Music by Jerry Bock. Production Design by Philip Rosenberg. Costume Design by Gary Jones, Ann Roth. Film Editing by Andrew Mondshein. Cannes Film Festival 1992.
Melanie Griffith plays a hard-edged cop who goes undercover in a Hasidic New York community to solve the murder and robbery of a local jeweler. While experiencing this very foreign culture, she ends up growing romantically attached to a young man of the neighbourhood (Eric Thal) who is helping the investigation. It’s not too easy to buy Griffith as ‘hard-edged’, but she gives a solid performance that carries the film with great ease. Its ending isn’t too original, or unpredictable for that matter, but it would be easier to swallow if Lumet didn’t insist on trying to make such a high-minded and serious film. As it stands, however, it’s thoroughly engrossing and you’ll find yourself getting into in spite of yourself.