Friday, August 29, 2008

Swedish Chef Bakes a Cake for the Mob

Bugsy (1991)
directed by Barry Levinson
rating: 3 out of 5 cravats
on DVD from Netflix

Sometimes a picture really does tell a story, so picture this: Warren Beatty with that late-career heft, stuffed into clothes tailored to enhance the shoulders, angrily cramming down forkfuls of shrimp Arnaud while Annette Bening undresses him from the floor. Oscar-winning art direction and a confused but still better-than-reported screenplay are the kibble in the bowl to entice the big dog into taking his medicine and putting on a show. Director Levinson only bolsters the argument that Beatty likes directors he can push around, but I wouldn't trade 2+ hours of Warren's hammy rage for - well, what do you trade things for these days? A better accent for Ben Kingsley? A trimmer Elliott Gould who stops playing the schlub? Money, maybe, but isn't that what makes a vault like Bugsy possible? Let 'em keep it, I say.