Jackie Brown

dir Quentin Tarantino - The promotions for Jackie Brown mention something about six players after a half million dollars in cash, while at the same time playing each other, and for the most part this is true. However, it's is not so much the conflict involving the money, but the way each character relates to and uses the other, and the detailed specifics of how they interact. Pam Grier stars as Jackie Brown, a black airline stewardess in her 40s who is doing the best she can to get by. When she is taken into custody by ATF agent Ray Nicolet (Michael Keaton) for supposedly smuggling in a large amount of cash, we begin to learn more about her and a shady past (and present) she is trying to put behind her. We are also introduced to a host of detailed, fascinating characters, such as gun-running Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), Louis Gara (Robert De Niro), a quiet, slightly dim-witted ex-con and Ordell's sexy, lazy, lady-friend Melanie (Bridget Fonda) whose attraction to Louis makes for great, unspoken tension. In Pulp Fiction Tarantino was able to tell several over-lapping stories that served as a both a great anthology and complete story, all strung together by excellent characterization. Here we get just the opposite - a chiseled character study which pushes and pulls the plot from all directions. Simply watching how the film breaks down the plot from story arc to individual scenes and even intricate shots themselves gives one the sense of awe. This isn't just a story about people after money, it's a great exercise in character interaction and what they are capable of. It's remarkable how fluidly the story to Jackie Brown flows, especially considering how it uses violence, double-crosses, and vulgarity to its advantage without becoming remotely gratuitous. Every character is so authentic they practically radiate auras, as the witty dialogue and outstanding performances perfectly enhance each other. AA nom: Best Supp Actor (USA 1997) 155 minutes Restricted, language, violence.

Pic of reels

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