Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2001. Stonelock Pictures, Single Cell Pictures, double A Films, Conversation Productions Inc., Echo Lake Entertainment, Entitled Entertainment. Screenplay by Karen Sprecher, Jill Sprecher. Cinematography by Dick Pope. Produced by Beni Atoori, Gina Resnick. Music by Alex Wurman. Production Design by Mark Ricker. Costume Design by Kasia Walicka-Maimone. Film Editing by Stephen Mirrione. Boston Film Critics Awards 2002. Independent Spirit Awards 2002. National Board of Review Awards 2002. Toronto International Film Festival 2001.
On a casual evening in New York, a hotshot lawyer (Matthew McConaughey) celebrates a personal victory at a local bar, having just sent a guilty man to prison. A nearby patron of the establishment (Alan Arkin) has just had a terrible week that has confirmed his doubts about humanity in general. A housemaid (Clea DuVall) celebrates a positive outlook on life until hers takes an unfortunate turn. A university professor (John Turturro) is trying to balance out his feelings for his wife (Amy Irving) and his mistress (Barbara Sukowa). These characters and more have connections between them that they aren’t aware of in this delicate, sensitively directed film by Jill Sprecher. All the performances are a touch of brilliance (Arkin is especially memorable, as well as McConaughey who reveals a new level of subtlety that he has never explored before), and the script is exceptionally well written.