Silver City

"OK"

Silver City Review


What are they using on the moviemaking plantation this election year to have produced such a bumper crop of Democrat-leaning political films? The fertile harvest may have something to do with outright fear of a Bush win in November. Or, determination to clarify the issues for swing voters still formulating their judgments.

Now, after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, Robert Greenwald's Uncovered: The War on Iraq, France's The World According to Bush, the upcoming Bush's Brain, and many more, filmmaker John Sayles adds his satiric shovelful with Silver City, a (fictional) feature film which explores the ramifications of a political system that lends itself to corrupt and unseemly influences.

The film is aesthetically all over the place: sleep-inducing expository scenes (most of those with Tim Roth, for some reason), classy flashes of performance and character (most of those with Maria Bello and one with fetching Thora Birch), platitudes and caricature (most of those with Richard Dreyfuss and Billy Zane), mixed in with missed opportunities for stylish drama because of pedestrian staging. But Chris Cooper's performance as the inept candidate -- styled on George W. Bush, down to his mental tendency toward verbal destruction -- is the reason the film has to be seen.

Which may be a difficult sell. The critics aren't raving and this may turn out to be a low altitude attainment on the Sayles monument of film, but it won't be because of the weaknesses enumerated above. Its failure on pure moviemaking criteria has more to do with the actor chosen for the lead character: Taking us through the players and malefactors in the exposé of a politically corrupt land grab and an overconfident campaign that begins with the discovery of a dead body is ex-reporter Danny O'Brien (Danny Huston), now employed as an investigator for a political P.I. firm led by hard-as-putty Grace Seymour (Mary Kay Place).

Huston is nice and affable, and candidate Pilager's estranged daughter Maddy (Daryl Hannah) thinks he's cute, and this is backed up by the assertion that he's the ex of gorgeous reporter Nora Allardyce (Bello). But leading man material? Where's the dynamism of Jude Law, Matt Damon, or Will Smith? Has Sayles abandoned all hope of putting together a commercial success? Did no one advise him that Huston, who played "hotel manager" in Hotel and "herdsman" in The Bacchae (don't ask me!) was entrusted with too much?

Everyone involved gives it their all, and this includes a stellar ensemble cast with the likes of Miguel Ferrer, Kris Kristofferson, Michael Murphy, the salty James Gammon, and an energetic moment with Ralph Waite. Sayles fans will not want to miss his latest quirky venture but Democrats most of all will not want to miss this contribution to the campaign.

The DVD adds a making-of featurette plus a commentary from Sayles and producer Maggie Renzi.

Silver City? I thought we were going to Gold City!



Silver City

Facts and Figures

Run time: 128 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th September 2004

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Dickie Pilager, as Chuck Raven, as Karen Cross, as Nora Allardyce, as Cliff Castleton

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.