24 March 2006 | shadowycat
High time the academy gives Spike Lee some respect!
Whether I was into the subject or not, there's always a filmmaker at work in a Spike Lee film... he's one moviemaker who never loses sight of being a filmmaker first and foremost, and he's absolutely outdone himself with INSIDE MAN, a taut thriller which avoids the colloquialism that alienated mainstream audiences from some of his earlier work.
If you've seen the trailer or heard anything about this pic, you have been misled. Everything I heard left me feeling like yeah, OK, I'm going for Denzel. Denzel vs. Clive Owen will be interesting.
From the first shots and opening credits, you are submerged in artistic vision, and a finely honed piece of work the likes of which I haven't seen in years. I'd almost give this one a ten.. and I don't hand out tens freely. I do not want to spoil this. You have to walk in cold, and let this film grab you by the short and curlies.
This is one film where there isn't a spare frame or wasted cheap shot. Every zinger zings, and there are laughs too, laughs at merciful intervals to break the tension and remind an audience on the edges of its seats that movie-going's supposed to be entertaining, dammit. The cinematography is brilliant, and the music is fantastic - true cinematic score, true genius. I can't praise this one enough.
Christopher Plummer is superb, in what is (perhaps coincidentally) an ironic bit of casting. Jodie Foster rises to a challenging persona with aplomb and ease, and my only complaint of the entire exercise is that her character's name 'Madeline White' is perhaps a little cliché. Beyond that, there isn't a filmmaker alive who brings New York to the screen with anything approximating Spike Lee's vision.
It seems there hasn't been a lot of junket for this one, and that Spike Lee's presence has been downplayed... as if the studio downplayed the fact that this is a Spike Lee film slightly, until the word was out that this film is over and beyond what an audience might already expect from one of his films.
So... let me just say.. man o man this is a cinematic mind-blowing amazing one and a half hours... it's brilliant, tight, funny, articulate, intense, and high time the academy gives Spike Lee some respect.