Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Drop

This will always be known at James Gandolfini's final movie. And that's okay but it sort of slights the great performances of the rest of the cast. If I hadn't known he was near death in this, I would have assumed it. Sadly, he is bloated, hugely overweight in that dangerous belly area, and though his performance seems somewhat nuanced, it just isn't full of the mental energy you see in the rest of his acting. His eyes are weary- and it isn't the character. It reminds me of the woman who asked Robin Williams if he was okay a couple of months before he died and he  sat down and said "I feel so fucking old and tired". And that is how you feel looking at Gandolfini- he looks weary.
The best performance in this is by Tom Hardy as Bob Saginowski, a seemingly slow witted bartender who seems more like a survivalist than a thug. Noomi Rapace (remember her from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc) plays his sort of girlfriend. Gandolfini plays the boss of the bar.  It is a sort of gangster movie, with the cruelty and lack of respect for life, but the real story is that of Saginowski.
This is a dark and seedy feeling film. But it is very worth seeing- you really don't know where it will all end up. And the little pit bull puppy that starts the action is really cute.
I think it is a good movie to see when you aren't trying to have some sort of Pollyanna day of happiness.  And certainly, seeing Gandolfini for the last time would make it all worth it anyway.