Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Watching Matt Dillon

I watched Crash with my mother last week -- my second time, her first. I have to say that even though it fits neatly into this year's "Eat Your Spinach" theme at the Academy Awards, I still find it a very moving film. Sure, I was manipulated, but for the most part the manipulations followed an intuitive sense that helped keep my defenses down.

I enjoy watching Matt Dillon. In fact, I generally enjoy watching him in just about anything -- My Bodyguard, The Flamingo Kid, Drugstore Cowboy, Wild Things, There's Something About Mary ... all good. His strong-suit character is usually someone with just enough charm and smarts to get into a heapload of grief. But he also directed a terrific little flick that "no-one saw" (his words): City of Ghosts. This time James Caan is cast in the usual Dillon role, as Dillon's slimy father; Dillon walks a wobbly line as the apple that hasn't fallen too far from the tree, but has the instinct to keep rolling. Good casting, good pacing, an excellent script (Barry Gifford, abandoning the weird for taut character-driven suspense) -- all in all, a good Saturday night movie.

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