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Critique of the Movie Matchstick Men
I recently read a review of Matchstick Men by Nicolas Bardot who said of the movie: “very touching but lacking a certain panache.” The Matchstick Men starring Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman, is the story of Roy (Cage) who with his “numerous disorders” and his partner Frank (Rockwell) tries to pull off a con job. Unfortunately, Roy’s daughter Angela (Lohman) suddenly shows up and things don’t go exactly as planned. Although Roy’s “disorders” are not mentioned specifically, I can’t imagine they would make his job easy in the first place, but throw a long lost teenage daughter into the mix and I can not wait to see what happens next. Matchstick Men is an adaptation from an Eric Garcia novel and runs one hour and fifty six minutes.
Bardot seems to vary on his opinion of this movie. He makes special note of John Mathieson’s photography declaring it as “superb,” as well as expressing delight in the soundtrack which was compiled by Hans Zimmer. Bardot seems to praise the movie for it’s depiction of anti-heroes, yet at the same time says that at times it becomes “slightly dull and uninteresting.” Despite his lack of glowing praise for the picture, Bardot expands upon the “expansive and spectacular” past pictures by Ridley Scott, the director. Having directed such films as Gladiator and Black Hawk Down among others, Bardot seems to think Scott has found a hidden talent in his new genre, comedy, declaring that his work on this picture is “marvelous.”
Although Bardot mentions the performances of Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman, I wish he had gone into more detail as to what was good about them, or in Cage’s case “unnerving.” He also refrains from mentioning other details such as setting, costumes, and camera angles which I would find interesting. Most of all, however, I would be interested in hearing more about the plot, such as what kind of con job Roy and Frank are hatching, or what Angela does to disturb their plans. Overall, despite Bardot’s description of the movie as “good,… [but] slightly off-balance,” I am looking forward to viewing it and making my own decision.