A brilliant modern day film noir provng the versatility of Stephen Frars after Dangerous Liaisons. This concerns the non-glamourous side of America, where con men forsake the American Dream of "its' off to work we go" in favour of making a buck illegitimately.
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Cusack is the small time grifter, earning bucks by tricking sailors and bar low-lifes. On his arm is Bening, who once sampled success as a scam operator and is desperate to wach those heights again. Most fascinating is Huston as Cusack's mother, perpetrating a playback scam for the Mob at the racetracks of America.
The review of this Movie prepared by Mike Tomlinson
Lilly Dillon (Huston), a 38-year-old con artist who works a scam at horse tracks across the U.S. for a powerful bookie (but is also skimming big money from her boss), is in LA for a job when she runs into the son she bore at age 14 and abandoned. Roy Dillon (Cusack) is a much smaller time grifter (con artist) with a hot girlfriend named Myra Langtry (Bening), who turns out to have a con history all her own. When Roy is hospitalized after botching a con and getting beat up, Lilly finds she still has feelings for the boy, tries to help him out and warn him off Myra (neither of which he goes for), and ends up flubbing her current job as well. Soon the mob is after her as she tries to make it right with her alienated boy. The screenplay by veteran novelist Donald Westlake, based on a Jim Thompson book, is gritty, smart, and a real downer, but excellently acted and sharply directed by Stephen Frears, who was doing his first American movie after "My Beautiful Laundrette," "Sammie and Rosie Get Laid," and "Prick Up Your Ears."
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus