Director Stephen Frears' tense adaptation of Jim Thompson's novel The Grifters was one of a number of revival film noirs in the first half of the '90s. Updating the setting to contemporary Los Angeles, the film follows a trio of con artists who are intent on out-foxing each other. Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is a simple, two-bit con, whose life is thrown into turmoil when his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) returns home in an attempt to evade the law. Lilly doesn't warm to Roy's girlfriend Myra Langtry (Annette Bening), who is too similar to herself. Soon, the two women are competing for Roy in a battle that is more of a power struggle than a pursuit of affection, and the battle quickly turns dangerous. Huston was nominated for an Academy Award for her work.~Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Based on Jim Thompson's seminal novel, The Grifters is now an appreciated film in the neo-noir genre with great performances all around especially Burton-era Batman series' Commissioner Gordon's Pat Hingle as a mob boss with a morbid thing for oranges. The transfer on the recent Lionsgate Blu-ray (albeit same as the limited release that was put out by Echo Bridge a couple years back so if you have that you technically have the new release) is fairly strong with a nice filmic look and the sound isn't shabby either. The downside of the release though is the lack of special features which were featured on previous releases of the film. All in all though if you still have Miramax's Special Edition DVD from yesteryear then it shouldn't be too much a pain given the price of the new Blu-ray.
I had the chance of interviewing Director Stephen Frears and during our conversation he asked me what was my favorite movie of his. I said "The Grifters" he said he was surprised that so many people told him that. I am not surprised. It is a dark portrait without compromises.
Multi Oscar nominated thriller from the British director Stephen Frears. Excellent performances by Cusack, Huston and Bening, warp up this tale of a group of con artists, their schemes and their victims. Def a movie to watch for the sheer joy the actors bring to their roles.
Not for everyone but people who love film and can handle a low key, story driven plot with love the actors interacting with each other in this. IT's a look at the life of grifters and how they approach the world. A modern noir with twists and turns.