Entry: The Grifters (1990) 2008.09.30



"My son is going to be alright. If not, I'll have you killed."



Straight after Dangerous Liaisons, Stephen Frears gave his noir touch in an intriguing crime thriller and drama, The Grifters, starring Anjelica Huston in one of her best performances, and the talented bombshell Annette Bening. I remembered bits and pieces of this disturbing story of a short-con Roy Dillan - played by the fragile-looking cutie John Cusack - and his attachments with a femme fatale mother and a manipulative girlfriend. Rewatching it again just made me realize how much genius was it in this low-key movie.

And ... how fashionable it was!

Donna Karan, Armani and Charles Jourdan's designs render the characters of Roy Dillan, Lily Dillan (Huston), and Myra Langtry (Bening). Paddings of the '80s made apperance in Lily's shoulders, confronted by Myra's sexy lines. In almost every frame, Huston posed as a supermodel without ruining her character. Her legendary elevator scene was like an Annie Leibovitz's shot.

The Grifters's conclusion, with Huston's gripping, harrowing, and tragic cry, was a milestone in the history of storytelling and filmmaking. It is a tragic and disturbing tale of greed that drives human behaviours to the edgiest borders.

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