Tuesday, July 14, 2009
BRILLIANCE AS PER USUAL
Michael Mann's Public Enemies is a masterpiece and the best film of 2009 thus far. From first frame to last, I was totally engrossed in this sprawling yet intimate crime saga. I'll be seeing this one again in the theater a few times. Dante Spinotti's electrifying cinematography is a sure-bet for an Oscar nom (if not win). Mann stages some of the best shoot-outs of his career (with one set-piece coming close to the downtown-LA shootout in Heat) in Public Enemies, and he's helped enormously by Johnny Depp's charismatic and showy lead performance. The screenplay is intelligent, economical, and always engaging. As Dargis in the NY Times said, it's a work of art, and unlike any gangster film before it.