Eli Wurman is a decadent drug addicted New Yorker public relation, who is promoting a social event on behalf of Afro-Americans. Along two days of his crazy life, the day of the event and the day before, he makes contacts and favors, 'kissing asses', using drugs etc. Victoria Gray is his widow sister-in-law and passion in the past. Cary Launer is an Oscar winner actor and principal client of Eli. On the day before of the event, Eli finds out secrets that evolve powerful men of America. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Inspired by the SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS and THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES, this labour of love is the sort of film made for New Yorkers by New Yorkers. While not being particularly fresh in it's ideas and story, PEOPLE I KNOW more than makes up for it's short comings due in large part to another strong turn by Al Pacino.
Pacino is surprisingly gentle and small as a has-been impresario who is desperate for one last benefit to do some good in the city. Why exactly this benefit means so much to him is never really explained but Pacino, with that wonderful expressive face of his, is content to carry the drama with subtly and grace, using those great bags under his eyes to convey a sense of pleading exhaustion throughout the film. In many scenes, his character seems so fatigued that we expect Pacino to expire on the spot, so heavy is the burden of his life lived as a heel.
The script, by New York playwright Jon Robin Baitz, knows it's world well, as demonstrated by the excellent lead characters and the numerous small, but equally well conceived characters that pepper the screenplay. Plot-wise the Baitz's script is less than successful. The screenplay suffers from two well-meaning maguffins - Pacino's big benefit and the `toy' Tea Leoni finds
which don't really pay dividends and lead the film to a somewhat flat
The direction by SEX IN THE CITY helmer Daniel Algrant is unobtrusive and safe, with no real effort made to assemble this film in anything higher than TV movie quality. Algrant is content to keep attention on his cast, which - when dealing with Al Pacino - is never a bad idea.
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