IMDb > Changing Lanes (2002)
Changing Lanes
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Changing Lanes (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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Changing Lanes -- The story of what happens one day in New York when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud.

Overview

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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Chap Taylor (story)
Chap Taylor (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Changing Lanes on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 April 2002 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
An ambitious lawyer, a desperate father, they had no reason to meet, until today, See more »
Plot:
The story of what happens one day in New York when a young lawyer and a businessman share a small automobile accident on F.D.R. Drive and their mutual road rage escalates into a feud. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
7 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(111 articles)
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User Reviews:
The trailer lied, as trailers often do these days... See more (353 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Ben Affleck ... Gavin Banek

Samuel L. Jackson ... Doyle Gipson
Kim Staunton ... Valerie Gipson

Toni Collette ... Michelle

Sydney Pollack ... Stephen Delano

Tina Sloan ... Mrs. Delano

Richard Jenkins ... Walter Arnell
Akil Walker ... Stephen Gipson
Cole Hawkins ... Danny Gipson

Ileen Getz ... Ellen

Jennifer Dundas ... Mina Dunne (as Jennifer Dundas Lowe)

Matt Malloy ... Ron Cabot

Amanda Peet ... Cynthia Delano Banek
Myra Lucretia Taylor ... Judge Frances Abarbanel

Bruce Altman ... Terry Kaufman

Joe Grifasi ... Judge Cosell
Lisa LeGuillou ... Gina Gugliotta (as Lisa Leguillou)

Angela Goethals ... Sarah Windsor

Kevin Sussman ... Tyler Cohen

Susan Varon ... Sheryl Buckburg
Noel Wilson ... Bartender at Arlo's
Angel Caban ... Security Guard at School

Jim Lovelett ... Security Guard at School (as James Lovelett)
Julia Gibson ... Receptionist at AD&S

William Hurt ... Doyle's Sponsor
Michael McGrath ... Seavers (as Michael Patrick McGrath)

John Benjamin Hickey ... Carlyle

Dylan Baker ... Finch
Ray Bokhour ... Willard
Suzanne Hevner ... Delano's Secretary
Caleb Archer ... Kid on Bike

Jordan Gelber ... Priest

Olga Merediz ... Mrs. Miller

Jayne Houdyshell ... Miss Tetley

Shabazz Ray ... Cop at Precinct (as Shabazz Richardson)

Raymond Anthony Thomas ... Cop at Precinct (as Ray Anthony Thomas)
Michael Pitt ... Music Teacher / Conductor
Genevieve Elam ... Waitress
Juan Lara ... Orchestra Child
Anastasia Rojas ... Orchestra Child
Nicole Wright ... Orchestra Child
Clive Oliver Greenberg ... Orchestra Child
Gilbert S. Williams ... Mike (as Gil Williams)
Sophia Guaspari ... Orchestra Member
Ruben Jared Seraballs ... Orchestra Member (as Ruben J. Seraballs)
Father Bonneau ... Himself
Jewel Brimage ... Teacher
Katarina Kianna ... Teacher
Vanessa Quel ... Kate
Howard I. Laniado ... Barry
Tony Machine ... Office Worker
Carolyn Feldschuh ... Office Worker
Maria Alaina Mason ... Office Worker

Harvey Waldman ... Author in Newsroom Interview
Pamela Hart ... Newscaster

Neal Jones ... Newsroom Writer

Susan Blackwell ... Newsroom Producer

Alyson Renaldo ... Newsroom Executive Producer
James Soviero ... Newsroom Associate Producer
Mary A. Kelly ... Newsroom Script Supervisor (as Mary Kelly)
Anthony DiGiacomo ... Newsroom Associate Director
Richard Velasco ... Newsroom Director

Leonard L. Thomas ... Newsroom Reporter (as Leonard Thomas)
Richard Kelly ... AA Group Leader
Selena Blake ... Insurance Broker
Harriet Rosenthal ... Family Court Member
John Kohl ... Family Court Member
Lisa Vogel ... Family Court Member
Bob Heffernan ... Simon Dunne
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Michael Arthur ... Ticket Cop (uncredited)

Myriam Blanckaert ... Lawyer (uncredited)
Lloyd Booker ... DOUBLE / ON SCREEN (uncredited)
Salvatore Cavaliere ... Family Court Officer (uncredited)

Israel Chaplin ... George (uncredited)

Ty Copeman ... Office Worker (uncredited)
Monet Cunningham ... Family Court Member (uncredited)

Philip M. Gardiner ... Parishoner (uncredited)
Ralph Howard ... Radio News Anchor, 1010 WINS (voice) (uncredited)

Sean T. Krishnan ... Sikh (uncredited)

Pete Macnamara ... Irate Pedestrian (uncredited)
Lian Moy ... Tourist (uncredited)
Joseph Oliveira ... Road Driver (uncredited)

David C. Roehm Sr. ... Defendant in Custody (uncredited)
Sam Rovin ... Paralegal (uncredited)

John H. Tobin ... AA Attendee (uncredited)

Ray Wineteer ... Parishioner (uncredited)
Waneeki Yokomee-Fung ... Tourist (uncredited)

Directed by
Roger Michell 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Chap Taylor (story)

Chap Taylor (screenplay) and
Michael Tolkin (screenplay)

Produced by
Scott Aversano .... co-producer
Ronald M. Bozman .... executive producer (as Ron Bozman)
Scott Rudin .... producer
Adam Schroeder .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
David Arnold 
 
Cinematography by
Salvatore Totino (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Christopher Tellefsen 
 
Casting by
Marcia DeBonis 
Ellen Lewis 
 
Production Design by
Kristi Zea 
 
Art Direction by
W. Steven Graham  (as Steven Graham)
 
Set Decoration by
Debra Schutt 
 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
 
Makeup Department
Allan A. Apone .... makeup artist: Mr. Jackson
Milton Buras .... hair stylist
Marjorie Durand .... makeup artist (as Margie Durand)
Linda Grimes .... key makeup artist
Janine Rath .... hair stylist: Mr. Affleck
Werner Sherer .... key hair stylist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair stylist: Mr. Jackson
Pamela S. Westmore .... makeup artist: Mr. Affleck (as Pam Westmore)
Francie Fillatti .... additional hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Michael Alden .... post-production supervisor
Ronald M. Bozman .... production manager: second unit (as Ron Bozman)
Harvey Waldman .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kenny Bates .... second unit director (as Ken Bates)
Timothy Donohue .... second second assistant director
Anthony Hemingway .... first assistant director: second unit
Anthony Hemingway .... second assistant director (as Anthony M. Hemingway)
Takahide Kawakami .... second second assistant director
Daniel Lowe .... dga trainee
Michael E. Steele .... first assistant director (as Michael Steele)
Tara Nicole Weyr .... second assistant director: second unit
 
Art Department
Patrice Canfield Longo .... set dresser
Deborah Canfield .... set dresser
Philip Canfield .... lead person (as Philip C. Canfield)
Scott Canfield .... set dresser
Paul Cheponis .... assistant set decorator
Ruth Deleon .... on-set dresser
Jeanne Develle .... assistant set decorator
James C. Feng .... additional art director (as Jim Feng)
William J. Foley .... scenic foreperson (as Bill Filey)
Sarah Frank .... graphic designer
Jonathan Graham .... construction foreperson
Chris Heaps .... set dresser
Karen Kates .... assistant property master
Tina Khayat .... set decorating coordinator
Marion Kolsby .... assistant art director
Gordon Krause .... construction foreperson
Martin Lasowitz .... property master
Brick Mason .... storyboard artist
Nick Miller .... construction coordinator (as Nicholas R. Miller)
Fanny Pereire .... art researcher
Lauri Blaire Schulman .... art department coordinator
Robert Topol .... master scenic artist (as Bob Topol)
M. Tony Trotta .... scenic artist (as Tony Trotta)
Michael Zadresny .... assistant props (as Michael Zadrosny)
Derrick Alford .... carpenter (uncredited)
Anthony Baldasare .... props (uncredited)
Doug Coleman .... set dresser (uncredited)
Ralph Contrado .... scenic (uncredited)
E. David Cosier .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Mark Lane-Davies .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Morgan Pitts .... additional on-set dresser (uncredited)
Charles Quinlivan .... construction grip (uncredited)
Stephen Siersema .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Nell Stifel .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Gina Alfano .... supervising adr editor (as Gina R. Alfano)
Bob Baron .... adr mixer
Matthew C. Beville .... adr mixer (as Matt Beville)
David Boulton .... adr mixer
Ryan Collison .... foley mixer
O.J. Connell III .... cableperson
Lee Dichter .... re-recording mixer
Robert Fernandez .... re-recording mixer
Dan Fulton .... apprentice sound editor (as Dan 'Diego' Fulton)
Peter Gleaves .... adr mixer
Harry Higgins .... sound re-recordist
Bradford L. Hohle .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby (as Brad Holey)
Dan Korintus .... supervising dialogue editor
Malaika Langa .... audio post coordinator
Brian Langman .... first assistant sound editor
Terrance Laudermilch .... sound re-recordist (as Terry Laudermilch)
Tony Martinez .... sound effects editor
Eric McAllister .... assistant sound editor (as Pontius McAllister)
Jane McCulley .... adr editor
Danny Michael .... sound mixer
Bob Olari .... sound re-recordist (as Robert Olari)
Harry Peck Bolles .... foley editor
Rob Playford .... sound designer
Mike Poppleton .... assistant sound editor
Jacob Ribicoff .... sound effects editor
Jac Rubenstein .... dialogue editor
Lynn Sable .... assistant adr editor
Andrew Schmetterling .... boom operator
Warren Shaw .... sound designer
Warren Shaw .... supervising sound editor
Paul P. Soucek .... sound effects editor
Stuart Stanley .... sound editor
Jeffrey Stern .... sound editor
Bill Sweeney .... supervising foley editor (as William Sweeney)
Noah Timan .... sound effects recordist (as Noah Vivekanand Timan)
Brian Vancho .... foley artist
Daniel Ward .... first assistant sound editor (as Dan Ward)
Mark DeSimone .... adr engineer (uncredited)
Phillip Fuller .... sound mix technician (uncredited)
Anguibe Guindo .... foley artist (uncredited)
Katherine Gordon Miller .... apprentice sound editor (uncredited)
Eric Strausser .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
J.C. Brotherhood .... special effects coordinator
Peter Kunz .... special effects supervisor
Jim Lillis .... special effects technician
 
Visual Effects by
Reid Burns .... visual effects producer: The Image Resolution Inc.
Reid Paul .... visual effects supervisor
Michael S. Harbour .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Fred Jimenez .... 2D technical assistant (uncredited)
Derek Ledbetter .... visual effects (uncredited)
Kevin Shawley .... digital artist (uncredited)
Martha Soehendra .... digital artist: The Image Resolution Inc. (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Doug Coleman .... stunt coordinator
Kiante Elam .... stunt performer
Jery Hewitt .... stunt co-cordinator
Steve Holladay .... stunt performer
Scott Rogers .... stunt performer
Rick Seaman .... stunt performer
Daniel W. Barringer .... stunts (uncredited)
Peter Bucossi .... stunts (uncredited)
Eliza Coleman .... stunts (uncredited)
Roy Farfel .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Jay Krueger .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Joanne Lamstein .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Tom McComas .... stunt double: Ben Affleck (uncredited)
Kristopher Medina .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Rick Miller .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Mick O'Rourke .... stunt driver (uncredited)
Derrick Simmons .... stunt driver (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Will Arnot .... Steadicam operator (as William Arnot)
Michael J. Betzag .... company grip (as Michael Betzag)
Brian Carmichael .... video assist operator
Caesar S. Carnevale .... film loader
Kelly Connors .... electrician (as Kelly Conners)
Angelo Di Giacomo .... first assistant camera: second unit (as Angelo DiGiacomo)
Bryan Dolan .... electrician
Thomas Dolan .... assistant chief lighting technician (as Thomas W. Dolan)
David M. Dunlap .... director of photography: second unit (as David Dunlap)
Gregory Farrell .... assistant chief rigging electrician (as Greg Farrell)
Jay Fortune .... chief lighting technician
Kerry Hayes .... still photographer
Amanda Hudson .... second assistant camera
Jennifer Koestler .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Bruce MacCallum .... camera operator
Jim Malone .... chief rigging electrician
Bobby Mancuso .... first assistant camera
Jim Manzione .... electrician (as James Manzione)
Charlie Marroquin .... company grip
Rick Marroquin .... dolly grip
Brian McClean .... electrician
Billy Miller .... company grip
Thomas J. Monaco .... company grip
Chris Norr .... camera operator: "b" camera
Neil O'Malley .... company grip
Kimberly A. Rial .... company grip
Kurt Rimmel .... second company grip
Jon Sibert .... first company grip
Christopher Vaccaro .... second company rigging grip
Craig Vaccaro .... first company rigging grip
Jeanne Vienne .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Jeanne Lipsey)
Bob Becchio .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Phillip V. Caruso .... additional photographer (uncredited)
Nicolas L. Charuet .... grip (uncredited)
Raymond Fortune .... electrician (uncredited)
Gregory F. Johnson .... grip: New York (uncredited)
David Norris .... camera operator: Wescam camera (uncredited)
Jonas Steadman .... Steadicam focus puller (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Jennifer Euston .... casting assistant
Bruce Winant .... adr voice casting: Loopers Unlimited
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Barrett Hong .... costume supervisor
Askia Won-Ling Jacob .... costumer: Mr. Jackson (as Askia Won Ling Jacob)
Pamela Kezal .... set costumer
Donna Maloney .... costume supervisor
Michelle Matland .... assistant costume designer
Arlynn Abseck .... set costumer (uncredited)
Mei Lai Hippisley Coxe .... set costumer (uncredited)
Joni M. Huth .... costume shop supervisor (uncredited)
Tim McKelvey .... additional wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Sam Adelman .... assistant film editor
Kent Blocher .... assistant film editor
Ruth Coulson .... apprentice editor: London (as Ruth Colson)
Jeremy Gibbs .... assistant film editor: London
Emily Grant .... apprentice editor: London
Anthony Houghton .... apprentice editor: London
Lori Machens .... post-production coordinator
Martin Robinson .... assistant film editor: London
Stephen R. Sheridan .... color timer (as Steve Sheridan)
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor
Byron Wong .... apprentice film editor
Donald Freeman .... final colorist (uncredited)
Samara Levenstein .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Location Management
Laura Berning .... assistant location manager
Maria T. Bierniak .... location manager (as Maria Bierniak)
Chris Coyne .... location assistant
Jesse Hove .... location assistant
Stuart Nicolai .... assistant location manager
John Fedynich .... location manager (uncredited)
Francis Maiorino .... location scout (uncredited)
Jennifer Quesenbery .... location scout (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Bob Bornstein .... music preparation
Emile Charlap .... orchestra contractor
Nicholas Dodd .... conductor
Nicholas Dodd .... orchestrator
Dina Eaton .... music editor
Geoff Foster .... music mixer
Andrew Glen .... preview music editor (as Andy Glen)
Shari Johanson .... music editor (as Shari L. Johanson)
Sonny Kompanek .... additional conductor (as Sandy Kompanek)
Angela Organ .... assistant music editor
Rob Playford .... music programmer
Dashiell Rae .... preview music editor
David Arnold .... music programmer (uncredited)
David Arnold .... musician (uncredited)
Ricky Graham .... assistant music engineer (uncredited)
Jake Jackson .... assistant music engineer (uncredited)
Sonny Kompanek .... orchestrator (uncredited)
James Nichols .... music recordist (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Edward Fanning .... transportation co-captain (as Eddie Fanning)
James Fanning .... transportation captain
 
Other crew
Kija Brooks .... production assistant
Ashlee Burnette .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Al Cerullo .... helicopter pilot
Kathy Cossu .... medic
Malcolm Dodson .... production assistant
James Domorski .... video consultant
Gregory Dunn .... production assistant (as Gregory S. Dunn)
Christopher Edwards .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Aaron D. Forste .... production assistant (as Aaron David Forste)
Kaiyan Gahrahmat .... production assistant
Brian Avery Galligan .... production assistant
Catherine Gore .... script supervisor: second unit
Crystal Hawkins .... production auditor
Joe Holden .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as J.A. Holden)
Margaret Jacobs .... assistant production coordinator
Mary A. Kelly .... script supervisor (as Mary Kelly)
Lars Knudsen .... executive assistant: Mr. Rudin
Pamela S. Marshall .... assistant: Mr. Michell, New York (as Pam S. Marshall)
Matteo Masiello .... production assistant
Helen Medrano .... first assistant auditor (as Helen Ruiz)
Julia Morgan .... production assistant
Eric Myers .... unit publicist
Alix Narcisse .... production assistant
Anne Nevin .... production coordinator
Charley Parlapanides .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as Charles Parlapanides)
Luke Redgrave .... assistant: Mr. Michell, London
Alyson Renaldo .... production assistant
Terence Scott .... production secretary
Thomas Struth .... artwork: "Monreale, Palermo"
Leonard L. Thomas .... assistant: Mr. Jackson (as Leonard Thomas)
Kevin J. Walsh .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (as Kevin Walsh)
Ron Weiss .... consultant: estate and trusts (as Ron Weiss Esq.)
John White .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Rick Whitfield .... video consultant
Mikayla Abromowitz .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer (uncredited)
Josef Brandmaier .... structured finance (uncredited)
Michelle Dunton .... script researcher (uncredited)
Andrew Fiero .... production assistant (uncredited)
Daniel Fine .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Jay Floyd .... clearance administrator (uncredited)
Joshua C. Hersko .... assistant: Scott Rudin (uncredited)
Michael Landers .... additional voices (uncredited)
Kendra Levenberg .... craft service (uncredited)
Stephanie Lovell .... additional set production assistant (uncredited)
Nolan B. Medrano .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Wayne Petrucelli .... security coordinator (uncredited)
Shabazz Ray .... stand-in: Samuel L. Jackson (uncredited)
Michael K. Reynolds .... chef (uncredited)
Will Rowbotham .... assistant: Mr. Rudin (uncredited)
Will Rowbotham .... production assistant (uncredited)
Darryl A. Smith .... payroll accountant (uncredited)
Eugene Stamos .... craft service (uncredited)
 
Thanks
John Ahearn .... thanks: artwork "East 100th Street Chess Club, Nathalie & Carlos"
Joseph Bartscherer .... thanks: artwork "Pond"
Don D. Brown .... thanks: artwork "Take IV" (as Don Brown)
Marc Chagall .... thanks: artwork "La Prairie Heureuse"
David Diad .... thanks: artwork "Lying 2"
Raoul Dufy .... thanks: artwork "Sainte-Adresse: Promenade au Bord de la Mer"
Jenny Gage .... thanks: artwork "Ventura - Legs and Road & Swing"
Antony Gormley .... thanks: artwork "Untitled, for Francis"
Roberta Guaspari .... thanks: Opus 118 Founder
Andreas Gursky .... thanks: artwork "Paris Montparnasse", "Paris Beaugrenelle" and "Hong Kong Stock Exchange"
Alex Katz .... thanks: artwork "Harbor #9"
Jonathan Levi .... thanks: New York City Board of Education
Elizabeth Murray .... thanks: artwork "Yellow Cup with Pink Lips"
Alice Neel .... thanks: artwork "Ninth Avenue El", "Young Woman", "Windows" and "Annemarie and Georgie"
Jerry Norman .... thanks: New York City Board of Education music consultant
George Passmore .... thanks: artwork "Blood City" (as George)
Gilbert Prousch .... thanks: artwork "Blood City" (as Gilbert)
Lucien Rees-Roberts .... thanks: artwork "Monticano", "Hills Above Siena"
Julie Roberts .... thanks: artwork "Seance", "Shepherdess Marie Antoinette"
Kate Rothko Prizel .... thanks: artwork Mark Rothko's "Untitled" (Wine, Rust, Blue on Black )
Christopher Rothko .... thanks: artwork Mark Rothko's "Untitled" (Wine, Rust, Blue on Black )
Mark Rothko .... thanks: artwork "Untitled (Wine, Rest, Blue on Black )
Stuart Rubin .... thanks: Salute to Music
Alexander Sandover .... thanks: artwork "Synaesthesia"
Thomas Struth .... thanks: artwork "Monreale, Palermo"
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for language
Runtime:
98 min | Turkey:91 min (TV version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Austria:10 | Brazil:12 | Canada:14A (Alberta/Manitoba) | Canada:PG (British Columbia) | Canada:14 (Nova Scotia) | Canada:AA (Ontario) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Denmark:7 | Finland:K-11 | France:Tous publics | Germany:12 | Iceland:L | Ireland:15 | Malaysia:U | Netherlands:12 | Norway:11 | Peru:14 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/12 | Singapore:PG | Singapore:NC-16 (TV rating) | South Korea:15 | Spain:13 | Sweden:7 | Switzerland:10 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:10 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:12 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #38938)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A day after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Roger Michell had the World Trade Center towers digitally removed from the opening main title sequence in the film. In the DVD commentary, he admitted that it was a mistake to erase them, and make it appear as if they did not exist. During the re-editing of the film, Michell reinserted them as a tribute.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): On Good Friday in New York City, banks close at 3PM. One of the characters says he has to be at the bank by 5PM.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Doyle Gipson:Think I'll make this the boys' room.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in New Frontiers: Making 'The Missing' (2004) (V)See more »
Soundtrack:
Ode to JoySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
33 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
The trailer lied, as trailers often do these days..., 28 September 2003
Author: tostinati from United States

Spoilers.

Changing Lanes is much more complex than the trailer leads you to believe. From the preview, you'd think it is an action fan's over-revved, simple-minded revenge thriller with lots of vehicular mayhem. Believe it or not, it does more peeling back of the layers of insulation of the affluent/powerful end of the social spectrum than any film I have seen lately. (--And not in the way the disappointingly too-pat-to-downright-absurd 'John Q' did, either.)

It's a film noir, and one of the darkest at that, full of despair, cynicism and scathing revelations about human nature. It seems to say-- or really, and this is a major distinction, to be about characters some of whom believe-- that we all make deals of personal expedience with Morality, that no one escapes life formation uncompromised and therefore able to comment on or judge anyone else's choices or actions. It's the old amoral, nihilistic/relativistic universe routine, which says concepts of fairness, justice or morality are quaintly irrelevant, that stuff just keeps happening, always has and always will, que sera sera.

My favorite scene, which was revolting and ugly and creepy as anything in any horror film you can name, is when Affleck sits down in a fine restaurant to discuss with his wife the morality of the situation he has been sucked into and is getting in deeper by the hour. He recognizes rightly that his game of oneupmanship, and win-at-any-cost has gotten insanely out of control. He is beginning to question it all, everything in his life. He comes to his wife for solace, direction, insight, a hint of moral rectitude, any help she can offer. She helps him, alright-- by saying she knows he does dishonest things (like having an affair with a woman at the office, which up until she springs that, he thought was his little secret) and that she could have had an honest husband, if that was all she wanted. --Why would she make a scene over an infidelity and risk interrupting the flow of her resources, anyway, she asks. He splits the dinner, dazed and even more desperate. In the next scene we witness him doing more of those very things he has just been having moral anguish over. (Maybe he can't recognize the feel of moral anguish at first.)

The Affleck character has a tremendous amount at stake, courtesy a pretty nifty plot hook, that keeps him up to some very dirty tricks. Sure, he doesn't want to risk interrupting the flow of his resources, either. But I think it's clear that the real reason he keeps doing crummy things is because he is a man compulsively drawn to the rewards of a destructive mode of behavior. Others gamble or drink or eat too much. Affleck works the system, lying, cheating, and treating all people like garbage. That's his high, his inescapable need. He can't quit. (Late in the film, he agrees to hire an idealistic young intern because, he laughs uncontrollably to himself, he wants to see what the intern's optimism and altruism looks like after 5 years of hard weathering by his no-rules-in-life employer.) Affleck is sick, and while he finally recognizes that sickness, he resigns himself to keep doing the same thing because, as his boss tells himself, he is willing to believe he has done more good than harm at the end of the day. The Affleck character's motivations for being extra bad, in the episode of his life we glimpse here, are strong enough to keep Changing Lanes from being just another American psycho study; it's easy to believe we could turn Affleck, given a similar circumstance in our life.

The ending is a somewhat forced positive one, but not nearly as much a sell out as is usually the case with a made-by-committee major commercial film. I give the whole enterprise 8.5 out of 10 stars.

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