City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial ... See full summary »
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City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial development. Joe Rinaldi is the building contractor who owns the buildings, and is being pressured to torch them to permit the development to occur. His estranged son, Nick, soon becomes a pawn in the power politics of the city. Corrupt Mayor Baci and policeman O'Brien are determined to push the development, while idealistic city councilman Wynn soon finds himself torn between what he knows is right and what his black constituents want. Written by
The 6 I gave "City of Hope" is the lowest rating I've given any Sayles film. I'm a bit loathe to give any of his films a poor rating because he makes such though-provoking films, but "City of Hope" never came together for me. Unlike the many different characters and situations he pulled together in his masterful "Lone Star," "City of Hope" felt disjointed, as if the stories where connected only superficially. I suspect it needs another fifteen minutes to pull everything together, but since Sayles has complete control over his films, the lack of end coherence must be blamed on him.
There are some wonderful performances in this film, especially Vincent Spano, who seems to have disappeared from film.
Well worth checking out, but I'd suggest watching "Lone Star," "Matewan," "Passion Fish," and "Men with Guns" first.
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