Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dead and Gone

It's pretty sad, although not altogether shocking, that Anton Corbijn's The American is just going to wither and die this fall like that poor, hapless donkey from Robert Bresson's Au hasard Balthazar - if it hasn't gone to pasture and laid down already.

I really liked it when I saw it back at the beginning of last month, but the film (unsurprisingly) didn't catch on at the box-office (turning a profit at $35 million domestically, but hardly anything to brag about) and divided critics sharply as something either glacially drab or fashionably European.

It's no secret that the film feels like it came from a different time and place, like something from that Bernardo Bertolluci or Jean-Pierre Melville mold where men are quiet, lonely, honorable fools who go about their business, wear a nice suit and then wallow in their own shallow existence and inevitable fate. 

The American is certainly one of the best 2 or 3 films of the fall and George Clooney's performance is wonderfully introverted and slick a la Alain Delon, yet its fate is sealed already as a come and gone, thanks for playing blip on the radar - an early casualty.

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