Two Americans, with their young daughter Trina, live in the northern Mexican desert, searching for family diamonds lost years before. Jump ahead, Trina's parents are mysteriously dead, and Trina, now grown, continues the search against the advice of Frank, an old family friend. Two gringo convicts, recently escaped from the Matamoros prison and headed for Texas, stumble upon the diamonds then find Trina and ask her for a ride. She realizes they've found the diamonds, keeps that from them, and tries to spirit the diamonds away. Various alliances form and break, one of the convicts tries to convince her to abandon her quest, and Frank watches from a distance. Written by
An excellent modern film in the line of Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
A really fantastic film, especially considering its low budget. Usually with such independent films one is disappointed in the lack of closeups, or the stiffness of direction, but not at all in this case. What makes this film excellent is its understatement -- any lesser director & cast would have made this tale of self-destructive obsessions into a self-indulgent orgy of overacting and self-consciousness, but this film is utterly believable, and its characters, although they are at the dark edges of human behavior, are entirely sympathetic and real. The script is also excellent and relatively original while harkening back to such classic films as "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and "The Maltese Falcon".
A high point is James Spader's heavy accent as "Marcus" -- usually you only see him playing half-asleep yuppies. This film proves he also has great technique. It's Minnie Driver, however, who is the hypnotic focal point of the film -- her passion radiates from the screen.
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