Glengarry, Glenn Ross
Warning: Movie is Restricted for Language
Every actor is a scene-stealer in this slick show of sales bravado, exploring
with a fine lens the shattered worlds that lie beneath the seamy underside of the high pressure real estate game. Screenwriter David Mamet's characterization is clever, caustic, ascerbic and intense as a hawk in full
dive. Down, but not beaten, Jack Lemmon's Shelley "The Machine" Levine pulls
out all the stops in a relentless quest for the ever-elusive close. Meanwhile,
Al Pacino plays off Jonathan Pryce, using scatology and sex as springboards for philosophical musings on the essence of real
satisfaction in life as he teases his way towards the topic of the sale of prime Glengarry property. Admirable for their passionate rebuke of despair, and driven to contemplate a decision to offset what appears
to be a destiny of diminishing returns, Alan Arkin and Ed Harris peel the bitter fruit so often harvested by desperate men
lost in a limbo of uncertainty. As events unfold, tension increases; Lemmon and
Pacino work to deceive and manipulate Pryce who plays a splendid "mark"; and Kevin Spacey distinguishes himself in his role
as the office manager whose apparent ineptitude almost supercedes his alertness. A
suprise ending, laced with a brokenness that is as loud as it is unspoken punctuates this exclamation point of a movie with
an ironic question: Who is ultimately responsible for the failed heroes in life?
Always at the back of this movie there is the notion that real estate men would
be better off striking out on their own rather than playing the odds of a meager percentage of company profits. But in the cut-throat world presented here, such an option seems not only unwarranted, but also ill-advised. Particularly if it means stealing a stack of real estate leads, an act that only mortgages
one's future in the debtor's prison of life.
Enjoy the movie; feel the thrills that arise from watching six superb acting
performances; and contemplate the cut-throat choices, quick-witted nuances, and world-weary ways found in what is so evidently
a game for gamblers and those gifted with gab in a godless world.
The Hero's Walk
by Anita Rau Badami
This poignant saga of strained familial relationships explores the clash of South Asian and North American cultures as
seen through the eyes of an aging man who is put in the awkward position of having to care for his grand-daughter who has
been tragically orphaned and must move from B.C. to India. The imagery and symbolism is rich and evocative. Badami
is able to move with from the passion and stubborn pride of her elderly characters to the confused innocence borne out through
the child's perspective with relative ease. I recommend this book to anyone who cherishes cultural difference and values
human integrity above traditional pressure to conform to archaic ideals.
EJ and Taupin are at it again. Blending lyrics and musical scores together for several soulful ballads, their style
resonates with a southern charm that in some places takes the listener back to the good old days of "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only
the Piano Player." If you a fan of his music, you are sure to relish this album. There is nostalgia; there
is remarkable irony; there is honky tonk; there is a soothing, sullen, calm in the face of stormy weather that is
comforting, quaint, and whimsically cosmopolitan.