The last film by writer/director Andrew Dominik was “The Assassination of Jesse James…,” which was wonderful in every way. This follow-up has very little to recommend it. The plot revolves around two low-rent criminals, who stage a heist, which necessitates having a hit man (Brad Pitt) brought in to clean things up. Unfortunately, most of what everyone does is talk…endlessly. There is a slowmo death that’s spectacular and a stark, brutal beating, but the rest of the time, it’s talk: sometimes indulgent and affected, other times just wordy (esp. James Gandolfini’s scenes). All that being said, Dominik’s willingness to experiment and fail miserably keeps him on the list of directors to watch.
GAY ANGLE: Pitt sports an unflattering look and keeps his clothes on.
Joe Wright, director of this version of the Tolstoy classic, has chosen to emphasize the theatrical nature of the period by setting most of the locations in a theatre: on stage, backstage and in the house. This sometimes creates a flowing, dancelike style that harkens to Luhrmann and Fellini. It also gets in the way of creating a cohesive and moving experience. Some of the scenery and all of the costumes are stunning. The performers do nicely, but the fervor that should drive the drama is uneven.
GAY ANGLE: Aaron Johnson, who was so hot in SAVAGES is mustachioed and nerdy looking in this.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.