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Thursday, May 29, 2008

RIPLEY’S GAME (2004)

Patricia Highsmith ’s literary output was defiantly cold & creepy. (This was a woman who once smuggled snails thru customs hidden under her bosom.) So, casting cold & creepy John Malkovich in her signature role, must have seemed like natural selection. Alas, they cancel each other out, especially under Liliana Cavani ’s tentative direction. She also misses Highsmith’s dollop of sexual tension between the two male leads. Charmers like Robert Walker, Alain Delon & Matt Damon played Highsmith men with surface charm set against buried perversion; Malkovich tries the reverse and comes off as a hitman begging for our understanding. Oops. Great locations help, but any film that uses Goreki on the soundtrack gets what it deserves.

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