Friday, January 2, 2009
Glengarry Glen Ross
Alright film lovers, what if I were to tell you that out there is a movie written by David Mamet and starring Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey and Jonathan Pryce? Now, what if I were to also say that this film involves very little scenery and is mostly built on these actors exhibiting their immense dramatic gifts in little more than conversations, arguments and telephone calls? Would I have to say more to get you to see this flick? In other words, either you’re already hooked or you’re not interested and likely aren’t going to be. Well, this movie does exist and it came out over a decade ago and the fact that it’s not viewed as a classic is a profound mystery. Kevin Spacey plays the manager of a sales firm branch whose four lowly employees (think Gil from The Simpsons) aren’t selling little and griping much. So, he calls in one of the top dogs from the main New York branch to do something about it. Well this top dog (played like Gordon Gecko’s ruder brother by Alec Baldwin) is also a heartless jerk who proposes that the four have one week to make as many sales as possible, the top two get prizes, the bottom two get fired. In other words, the dogs that were starving are thrown into a pit with very little food and expected to fight it out to the death. This movie is immensely enjoyable to watch and it’s a bit like getting the chance to watch some of the best in the business do what they do at peak performance. Fantastic. It’s also a great Mamet story, one about the nastiness of this side of capitalism and one about who ugly we can all get towards each other in the name of money. It’s not light fair, but if you’re a fiend for great acting and great drama, then it simply doesn’t get better than this.