Saturday, April 9, 2011

RIP Sidney Lumet

RIP Sidney Lumet

My top Lumet Films.

1. Network (one of those perfect movies, as fresh or fresher in message and tone since the day it debuted.)
2. Dog Day Afternoon (First off it’s one of the “Cazales” or films with John Cazale which are: Godfather & Godfather 2, Dog Day, The Conversation, and The Deer Hunter. Secondly it’s one of the films that defines the best of that 70’s style of film making. Gritty, socially conscious without being overly preachy, and seriously well performed.)
3. The Pawnbroker (it’s all about “The Steiger”. One of the all time great film performances, easily)
4. 12 Angry Men (perfect casting, tone… again, kind of perfect)
5. Serpico (my sentimental favourite, probably the one I’ve watched the most often, probably 6 or 8 times at least)

some under appreciated Lumet gems include:

Garbo Talks (1984) is one of the nicest melancholy films about dying that you will ever see. It’s a lovely film. Smart, canny, and somehow melancholy without too much pathos. A deft light touch from Lumet, Ron Silver, Anne Bancroft et al…

Family Business
The unlikely family of Grandpa Sean Connery, Dad Dustin Hoffman, Son Matthew Broderick works far better on film than as an idea. A tribute to both Lumet and the abilities of the actors. It’s one of the most re-watchable heist comedies out there. Very underappreciated little picture in my humble opinion.

Running on Empty, with River Phoenix and Judd Hirsch at the height of their respective powers. Nice little film about hippie terrorists on the run. Great ensemble cast. another great “little film” by Lumet.