Brian De Palma’s screen adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s boisterous satire of American society follows a Wall Street wheeler-dealer who has everything going his way. But one night, in the right car with the wrong woman, he took a wrong turn at the wrong place, and nothing has gone right ever since…
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Time--and the overall shitfest of summer movies over the past two decades--have been kind to the legacy of this film. It's not nearly as bad as most people seem to remember it was. And you can always learn something from a Brian DePalma film.
De Palma is one of my all-time favorites, the book one of the best of the 1980s. Add a star cast to the mix and... nothing really. De Palma makes all his tricks, oner, 360 shots, split-screen, you ask. But nevermind the fancy actors and fancy camera movements, it is a bad film, trying to be weird and funny, imitating a bit the early Coens. A head scratcher : he made amazing films right before and right after.
On the list of directors I want to tackle race relations De Palma would surely be somewhere near the bottom. An entirely tone-deaf "comedy" in which race is reduced to a political strategy by all parties (including the money grubbing families of the victimised), which is not to say there aren't similarities between this and 'Made in America'. To paraphrase Thomson, Griffiths is a loving gift to misogyny.