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Detective Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) takes us through his shattered life after encountering the most deadly (and deceptive) criminal he has ever had to deal with. It doesn't help that Grimladi is playing both sides against the middle. When he encounters Demarkov (Lena Olin) he thinks he can play her as he has all the other women in his life...including his wife. But Demarkov knows Jack better than he knows himself. She plays him mercilessly, all the while threatening to kill him when she tires of the game. Written by
I had to comment because I simply can not believe all of the lower rating numbers this film has received; it's one of my very favorite films of the 1990s.
This film is not perfect, as stated by other people, Roy Schieder is terribly miscast (although I was more distracted by his obvious face-lift).
Otherwise, this film rocks. The rest of the cast is simply superb and I don't know how in the world Gary Oldman, Juliette Lewis, Annabella Sciorra and Lena Olin were not nominated for the Academy Award in their respective categories. Hilary Henkin has written a tight and compelling script and it's directed with sheer brilliance.
Gary Oldmaan is one of the best actors of his generation and nowhere is that comment more obvious than in his performance in this film. As Jack Grimaldi, his New York accent is spot-on. He creates a character which most people will recognize somewhere in his/her life and delivers it with such ease that you live Jack's life through this outstanding actor's performance. Juliette Lewis has never been better. Her performance is funny, touching and ultimately tragic. Annabella Sciorra is glorious as Jack's earth-mother wife. Everything about her performance rings true. But, it's impossible to even find words to describe Lena Olin's Mona Demarkoff. Wow! Beautiful, sexy, tough, cold-hearted, vicious and unrelenting. I'm impossible to ever forget her performance once you've seen it. I haven't seen this film in years, and I'm still upset that she didn't win the Academy Award and wasn't even nominated! When this film failed to get any nominations at all was the time I stopped watching the Oscars.
Rent it. You'll never forget it.
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