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STARRING 2009 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE® FRANK LANGELLA (BEST ACTOR, FROST/NIXON) Jimmy Stevens (FRANK LANGELLA), a senior VP for E.N. Corporation, sets up his own assassination after sending a damaging but anonymous email with deflated sales figures for his company and attaching a video-clip containing sinister images of a clandestine burial at the energy firm's factory in Latin America. In New York the wheels of the corporation spin into action using contacts, Teddy and Sammy, from the underground to track down the whistleblower. Jimmy fears for his life, and, using the pseudonym John Doe , hires Frank Turlotte (ELLIOTT GOULD), a private detective, to follow a man and track his movements. Disguising his voice, Jimmy does not tell Turlotte that the person who has hired him, and the man he is to trail are one and the same. Increasingly obsessed with Turlotte's opinion of his life, Jimmy engages in a game of cat and mouse, phoning Turlotte each evening for a report, and taunting him into discovering more and more details of his life. Jimmy eventually tells Turlotte that his job is over except for one more meeting in Redhook, Brooklyn. Turlotte is now intrigued enough to get to know Eileen (LAURA HARRING), a jazz singer and Jimmy's companion, and her seven-year-old daughter, Lila. Jimmy tells Lila a story about his childhood in 1940s France: One day towards the end of the war, Jimmy and his friend Lulu found a dying soldier in the woods. The soldier had requested that Lulu stay with him until his death. It was an episode that has haunted Jimmy ever since, and initiated his greatest wish, that he should not die alone.
Top customer reviews
Along the way we see Stevens wind up a romance with a cabaret singer. As the days dwindle down, Turlotte finally realizes who his client is.
The ending should not be a mystery but I was still taken by its subtlety, a truly emotional conclusion.
I am not familiar with director/ co-writer Richard Ledes work, but he handled this without it being maudlin or melodramatic. A fine movie.
I wished to see what Langella was like in a 21st century film. He's still handsome, has "those lips, those eyes" and will forever (at least in photos.) If this one is any indication of what the others are then NO Langella ever again for me! He's best known for DRACULA from his stage play of the same name. His class films began in DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, THE 12 CHAIRS,Twelve Chairs, THOSE LIP-THOSE EYES, SPINX, anything in the 1980-90's. Perhaps he should remain on the stage. He recently portrayed "Thomas More" in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Langella was acclaimed for his stage work and just now was an Academy award "Best Actor" nominee. He made films for money, had fun on stage and won numerous awards there. Was he A MAN ONLY FOR THE 20TH CENTURY?
If you're looking for a great film to buy, look for Timothy Dalton on Amazon and buy his. They are ALL great and his Bond brought out the tears and grit first. He admires Daniel Craig for taking up where he left off. "Nobody does it better...than Timothy Dalton then Daniel Craig."
I watched it because I'm a Frank Langella fan, and find any of his films to be worth the time spent. I haven't seen Elliot Gould for years (decades) and was pleasantly surprised that he carried his important role so well.
If you dislike subtitles, be warned: Some flashbacks to 1940s France are spoken in French and subtitled, plus a few lines here and there in the present-day portion of the movie. Not enough to annoy me, even though I was knitting a sock while watching the film!
The Amazon.com description of the movie really gives away too much, and one reviewer mentioned that if you look at the pictures on the back of the DVD in sequence, they give away the whole plot. But the plot is merely a vehicle for telling a compelling story of two men's memories. Beautifully filmed and one I would hope to watch again someday.
1. A man is shown dealing in some business deals that smack of illegality.
2. Later he falsifies some reports knowing that they will lead to his being executed.
3. The hit man that is to execute him gives him a call on the phone and he asks for a delay of two weeks (lest information be given that incriminates the company for which the businessman worked).
4. The businessman hires a detective to follow him-- but the detective does not know that it was actually the businessman who hired him.
5. We see snippets of the businessman's life and find out that he was survivor of WWII and he hired the detective so that he would not have to be alone when he died.
6. The businessman is eventually summarily executed (and does not die alone).
This really stretched the plausibility test. The acting was very good and very serious/ sober. But if someone wanted to die, and he wanted someone with him when he died, couldn't he have found some other way from among his many contacts so to do?
There was also the issue of his mother. Was she sane or wasn't she? Could there really be a human being that old on the planet (she would have to have been nearing 105 for the things in the movie to make sense)? And what was going on with her accent? At one time, she had a German accent. At another time, she had an American accent. And then still another time, she had a French accent.
This is worth a rental price-- but not a theater ticket.