A brilliant crime film from brothers Joel and Ethan Coen (The Big Lebowski’, ‘Fargo’) about a faithful, but ultimately misunderstood gangsteradviseur which is itself an intrigue too far to venture. Also sublime: the dialect that is used.
Friday 30/9, 22.00, Canvas
‘Nothing more foolish than a man chasin’ his hat.’ That you have the Coen brothers no need to be told twice. In Miller’s Crossing, the third film from their unique oeuvre, is the hat of Gabriel Byrne almost a character in itself.
This dark, with cool irony filmed tale of power, loyalty, and rivalry between Irish and Italian gangsters plays out – mostly in the moody interiors – in the USA in 1929, the time of the prohibition. And as a noir it is fitting, crack battle los when two men, Tom Reagan (Gabriel Byrne) and Leo (Albert Finney), fall in love with the same woman, Verna (Marcia Gay Harden). That Reagan, the loyal lieutenant of Leo, an Irish gangsterbaas and politician, makes it all even more complicated. Tempers get really hot when Reagan goes to work for the rival mobster Johnny Caspar (Jon Polito). As a first assignment, he must ‘Schmatte’ (John Turturro) to kill a sjoemelende bookmaker who was also the brother of Verna, with whom he had an affair started.
The whole film long fire the characters, their hard-boiled texts, with invented phrases like ‘Don’t smart me!’. Not happen to know the Coens the detectiveromans of Dashiell Hammett, the man, The Maltese Falcon wrote, as well as their pocket. Nor, coincidentally, were both Hammetts Red Harvest and The Glass Key model for Miller’s Crossing. And not at all a coincidence that style in this brilliant homage is as important as the enigmatic intrigue.
Already in the openingsgeneriek of this shrewd parody, floats a black fedora through a forest, and in the rest of the movie remain the Coens themselves with fetisjistisch pleasure headgear deposit. About the symbolism behind all the hats are the Coens always vague remained. Even Gabriel Byrne, whose character the entire film, long as a human punch bag acts, was not much wiser when he was there during the shooting to early. ‘Mmm, hmm,” was the laconic reply of the brothers. It may be that the Coens simply Muhammad Ali’s pronunciation of his camp against Floyd Patterson in the back of my mind were: ‘I’ll beat him so bad he’ll need a shoehorn to put his hat on.’ (LJ)