Sunday, February 12, 2012

Top Ten Films of 2011: #10

Directed by Oren Moverman
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Brie Larson, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Ice Cube

As a force of nature Woody Harrelson determines so much of “Rampart’s” success – his tone altering wildly with the unravelling rhythms of the script, his enticing bravado lashing at you and then suddenly wearing thin. He can be both funny and tragic in the same breath, imbalanced as an enforcer and completely ineffective as a patriarch. He’s a dangerous racist cop whose threat remains primarily self-destructive, and he’s the perfect antihero for this movie. Moverman is shier to confront the sweaty politics of Texan authority than he was the military deadening of “The Messenger,” endeavouring to explore how crime can derive from and fuel control and self-preservation. Featuring a terrific performance from Robin Wright as Harrelson’s female-in-crises equivalent, “Rampart” asserts how people can become so easily blind to the scope beyond their own behaviour; how impulsivity, promiscuity, and sociopathic failure can engulf somebody whole. It’s a film which showcases Moverman’s early tendencies as a filmmaker to reach to the other side of prestige and its ingestible poisoned chalice. Why swallow the pressure to be perfect?


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Paolo said...

Yay! I love Rampart and the people who love it! It's my Margaret in its obscurity and divisiveness. Most people I know either hate it, or see it as Moverman going delightfully crazy on the camera or an ensemble work where everyone shines. But you're right that it IS Woody's show, Robin Wright occasionally dancing with him to dizzying depths.