A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
In the middle of Alaska, travel agent Paul Barnell is near bankruptcy. Desperate to help himself and his beloved, mentally-ill wife Margaret, Paul discovers a dead body and passes it off as his missing brother Raymond, whose life is insured for up to $1,000,000. Everybody is duped, except for workaholic insurance investigator Ted Waters, who sets out to expose Paul, in hopes of being promoted out of Alaska. Meanwhile, two rookie hit men, Gary and Jimbo, discover Paul took 'their' body and kidnap Margaret, demanding the body back. Then, Raymond turns up alive, wanting in on the action... Written by
James Woods turned down the role of Raymond Barnell after assurances could not be made that adequate medical facilities were available in Skagway, Alaska, where portions of the film would be shot. Woods had recently suffered heart problems and was concerned that should further problems arise, he would not have suitable medical care. Woody Harrelson was later cast in the role. See more »
Toward the end, a beat-up Ted leaves the house to go to the secret meeting. He comes right back in to ask his girlfriend to come with him and you can see that his eye make-up has changed. See more »
[Margaret is bound and gagged in back seat of Jimbo's car]
Why did you gag her?
See more »
The Big White has some high-powered actors: Holly Hunter, Robin Williams, Woody Harrelson, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Blake Nelson and Alison Lohman. I'm usually hesitant to see movies with so many amazing actors... usually it means the budget was big enough to get all of them and the players barely hold the film's bad script afloat. Not so in this case! The fact that the Big White didn't have a major theatrical release is hard to comprehend. Seems like that happens to some of the best films... the ones that aren't full of cheap laughs and actually have developed characters.
The Big White has been compared to Fargo for its snow, death and money. Not a bad movie to be put alongside at all! It certainly was influenced by Fargo, but diverges from there. This film is less about greed and more about deep love (searching for it and nurturing existing love.) Holly Hunter is a beautifully nuanced character and made me crack up several times. Robin Williams is in top form, comic and deeply tragic. A great vehicle for emerging actress Alison Lohman. Giovanni Ribisi is brilliant. Even the smallest characters in The Big White are detailed. The film has a slower pace yet it is never boring. The camera- work is beautiful and the characters are so interesting that you want to know more about them, even in their quiet moments, which is when they shine the most.
27 of 31 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?