Saturday, September 15, 2012

Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Directed by James Foley

Screenplay by David Mamet

Based on his play of the same name

Stars: Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce and Alec Baldwin

I have seen a couple of David Mamet penned movies and sometimes I feel like the movies are just his plays on the big screen. The translation does not go as smoothly as it should. I have only heard about Glengarry Glen Ross from watching the Tonys. The film got its sole Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Al Pacino. The film is good, but it does suffer from David Mamet Translation Syndrome.

Set in the world a real estate brokers, the movie tells the story of the hardworking at a brokerage firm. Times have been tough on the men without selling much property. Their supervisor, John Williamson (Spacey) has a speaker come in to light the fire under their asses, Blake (Baldwin). Blake makes an ultimatum for everybody to sale, sale, sale. The incentive is first place: a brand new car, second place: a set of steak knives and third place: a pink slip. The lacking of quality leads, Shelley Levene (Lemmon), Gary Moss (Harris), George Aaronow (Arkin) and Ricky Roma (Pacino) are trying to save their jobs by any means necessary. Their world changes when the office was robbed. Who did it?

The movie is enjoyable to watch. The acting were fairly solid. I loved the monologues some of the actors gave that were really good. The problem I had with the movie is that Mamet's dialogue doesn't translate that well to the big screen. Who actually says these words? The exchanges between some of the characters felt stiff like the one with Ed Harris and Alan Arkin. Their exchanges felt like they didn't have enough rehearsal time, especially Arkin.

I can understand why Al Pacino was nominated for his role here. Ricky Roma is a character that is very driven and wants to get that great sale. He lives and breathes sales. He will do anything to get that sale, even if he has to lie to a client like James Lingk (Pryce).

My Rating

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