Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. United Kingdom/France/USA, 1999. Emotion Pictures, Canal+, Zeal Pictures, Kingsgate Films. Screenplay by Matthew Warchus, David Nicholls, based on the play by Sam Shepard. Cinematography by John Toll. Produced by Jean-Francois Fonlupt, Dan Lupovitz, Timm Oberwelland. Music by Stewart Copeland. Production Design by Amy B. Ancona. Costume Design by Karen Patch. Film Editing by Pasquale Buba. Toronto International Film Festival 1999.
Moderately successful character drama is actually an improvement over Sam Shepard’s talky and convoluted play. Jeff Bridges plays a successful Kentucky racehorse mogul whose dirty past is brought back to haunt him by Nick Nolte, an old high school friend who was part of the crooked deal that made Bridges wealthy. Sharon Stone plays Bridges’ miserable wife, the key player in the swindle that made her and her husband a millionaire. The flashbacks are awkward and sometimes overdone, but the brilliant acting done by all three aforementioned actors, plus stellar performances by Albert Finney and Catherine Keener, make the film wholly worth watching. Stone is especially powerful despite the fact that she’s only on screen for a short amount of time; she said in an interview that it is the most brilliant part she’s been asked to play and it’s easy to see why.