Just saw The Grifters two nights ago. Film came out in 1990, starring Anjelica Huston (daughter of director John Huston), John Cusack (has a sister, Joan), and Annette Bening (still married to Warren?).
This film is all build-up, and no payoff, and in reflection, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Story follows three con-artists, or grifters. Anjelica plays the matriarch. She runs some scam at the horse races. What she does is infathomable, but unless my eyes deceive, a teenager could do what she does (well, except it would look fishy to have that kind of money). Cusack plays her son (the film said she had him at 14), who is a small time hustler. Bening plays a con who used to bilk customers out of several hundred thousand dollars, until her partner went nuts, and now she's barely making ends meet (bad financial advising, I'd imagine).
I mean, it just doesn't make sense. I know, the idea is to show the seedy underbelly of those who steal others money through chicanery, but goodness it's addle-minded. For example, in a scene that has to be thought to be believed, Bening has a chance to make a fortune, and does something completely idiotic. Cusack offers advice to his mom as well that makes no sense whatsoever given the kind of person he wants to be at the beginning of the film.
The ending is like a twisted version of Chinatown, with none of the emotional payoff, try as it may.
The acting at least is decent, with Huston playing the grizzled mama, and Bening the vixen, and Cusack the kid who still play's kids games.
At least, I got the DVD on sale.
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1 month ago