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Circumventing the Dark Side,
This review is from: Fierce People (DVD)
Griffin Dunne was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short for "Duke of Groove" in 1995. Whether it's a screenplay that bounces like a ping-pong ball or the direction, the film seems to be trying to make the connection that even wealthy families have similarities to primitive civilizations. Brutality is an aspect of human nature would also sum up much of the film. The story seems quite unreal and nebulously defined as in the relationship of Donald Sutherland's Ogden C. Osbourne & Diane Lane. The plot is a cousin to the television series "Dirty Sexy Money" in which Sutherland also appeared as a wealthy patriarch.
Anton Yelchin who starred in Hearts in Atlantis with Anthony Hopkins and "Charlie Bartlett" is one of the best things about the film. His character Finn Earl seems like a teen who is always going to land on his feet and adapt to the many curves life throws at him. The violation of the boy is so charged that it makes what seemed like a romantic comedy suddenly dark and sinister. Chris Evans starred in Cellular (New Line Platinum Series), "The Fantastic Four" and this year in "Street Kings." His character seems warm and happy-go-lucky until we come to see the darker side. Evans never fully took me to the dark side or made me believe he was capable of the acts on which the film hinges. He was much better in the comic romantic aspect of the film. Diane Lane is so beautiful and natural as an actress, but again her casting as a boozy lush never really was believable. She never took us completely to the dark side. This is part of the major problem with the film, combining such disparate elements, but not convincingly.
Kristen Stewart who starred with Jodie Foster in Panic Room plays Maya, Osbourne's granddaughter. She comes across very well in the film as an iconoclast, unimpressed by her family's wealth. As Finn's summer romance, she seemed quite tender and sincere. Elizabeth Perkins from TV's "Weeds" puts in a good appearance as the wealthy daughter. The film is interesting. Donald Sutherland, Diane Lane, Anton Yelchin & Kristen Stewart's performances are worth the rental. Enjoy!