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Glengarry Glen Ross [Import anglais]
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In 'The Stepfather' a congenial family man and his engaging smile insidiously mask a deep-seated dementia. 'Glengarry Glen Ross' looks at the wheelings and dealings of a small Chicago real estate office where the name of the game is to close the deal and stay on top...
Tempi duri per una piccola agenzia immobiliare di Chicago. La direzione ha un'idea: l'agente che realizzerà il maggiore numero di vendite alla fine del mese vincerà una Cadillac Eldorado. Per il secondo classificato, un servizio di coltelli da cucina. Terzo premio a pari merito per tutti gli altri: il licenziamento. Fra gli agenti si scatena la caccia al cliente. E' un mondo di burocrati, funzionari scaldasedia, tutti con l'occhio sempre sull'orologio... Insomma, è un fottutissimo mondo. Una specie in via di estinzione. Eh già, apparteniamo a una razza in via di estinzione. Ecco perchè dobbiamo stare uniti. Ricky Roma può permettersi di parlare in questo modo perchè è l'agente più scaltro, e anche questa volta riesce ad accaparrarsi i clienti migliori. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Blu-ray.
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I cannot believe I had never heard of "Glengarry Glen Ross" until recently. As soon as I popped the DVD in, I fell in love with it immediately. It is so well written and well acted that you can't do nothing but watch in awe. And then, you want to watch it again and again. I have just purchased this movie a couple of weeks ago, and I know my viewings of the film are already in the double digits. This is a movie you can really watch whenever you want. You don't need to be in a certain mood to enjoy it.
The cast is sensational. You've got Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, and Alec Baldwin. Pacino is great as always and really steals the show during the second act of the film. Your eyes never leave him for a second. Jack Lemmon was also so terrific in it, and it's heartbreaking that he didn't win an Oscar. Everybody else did great in their roles as well.
What I liked about this movie most was the realistic dialogue. People may think that there's a lot of profanities in this film, but this is the real world. People talk like this, especially in the business world. David Mamet did a spectacular job in writing it. I look forward to reading the play. I love it when the story mainly focuses on the characters than on plot.
The DVD is also very good, but not special. But alas, isn't that what it says on the cover? "Special Edition." While there are quite a few extras, it's still nowhere near "special." "Requiem for a Dream" had more extras, and it wasn't even a Special Edition DVD. I know people were let down by this and I can see why. Personally, I didn't have a real problem since I hadn't seen the movie before buying the DVD. I was satisfied, but I clearly understand how others were not.You get the choice of either watching a widescreen version or a full screen version. You also get the choice of watching it in DTS, which is always a nice thing. The picture and sound quality is really great. Some of the extras are a documentary, a tribute to Jack Lemmon, new interviews, commentary, production notes, and cast and crew biographies. Aren't those a couple of features? Yes, but nothing I'd consider "special." For a two disk set, I was expecting more. However, I'm not that let down.
"Glengarry Glen Ross" is a fabulous film that had me hooked from the very beginning. It is now one of my favorites. If you love a good drama where the main focus is on the characters themselves, then this is the movie for you. The only flaw is the lack of special features, but that's no fault of the film itself. Welcome to Real World 101. It's a jungle out there. You think you've got what it takes to close the deal? "You call yourself a salesman, you son-of-a-(bleep)?" Maybe you are... and maybe you're not.
Near the beginning of the film, a man from the downtown office (Alec Baldwin) offers encouragement to three salesmen who aren't meeting their quotas by way of verbal abuse. First prize is a brand new Cadillac, second prize is a set of steak knives, and third prize is the door: you're fired. The men are selling real estate, using the weak leads handed down to them from above. There is Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), nicknamed The Machine for his past sales record, who has hit a wall in his career and can't seem to close any more sales. He desperately needs to keep his job to pay medical bills for his wife. Dave Moss (Ed Harris) is fed up with all of the bureaucracy, and doesn't feel people should be treated this way--and they shouldn't. George Aaronow (Alan Arkin) isn't the sharpest tool in the drawer, and tends to be swayed by his colleagues.
All three of these men are jealous of the only guy making any sales lately, Ricky Roma (Al Pacino). Dave is convinced that the rest of them would be doing just as well if they were getting the good leads that he is, but according to their by-the-book company-pleasing manager John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), only closers are worthy of the good leads--the Glengarry leads. Dave comes up with a plan to break into the office, steal the leads, and sell them to the competitor across the street, and tries to convince George to do the dirty work, and as a reward, he can take a cut of the pay and have a job with the competitor. We don't see the actual robbery, though--only the aftermath--and it's not clear who exactly did what. Everyone's got their motives, but who had the guts to do it?
Glengarry Glen Ross was written by David Mamet based on his stage play of the same name, and it must have been an actor's paradise. There are no special effects, hardly any sets at all, and some fantastic dialogue, which flows with the cadence that only Mamet can produce. Nobody else can write profanity with such poetry. Director James Foley doesn't intrude on his actors, which is the perfect way to deal with this talk-heavy picture. The acting is excellent all around, especially by screen legend Jack Lemmon, though nobody is overshadowed by anybody else.
The only fault I found with the film was the abrupt ending, but to go into any more detail would be a crime against anybody who hasn't seen the film. The subject matter is fascinating, as most of us have only seen salesmen when they're being phonies. Here they are given personalities, and are struggling with not only their jobs, but with their lives, and they live in such a sheltered world that they can't even see the opportunities that might be available outside of this bubble. It's a really foolish idea to steal from the place you have to go to every day, but if you don't know any better, it makes perfect sense.
Jack Lemmon: Bold words to ascribe to a man of his stature and legend, but I think this could be his finest performance. The character is pathetic and reprehensible at the same time...and it appears Lemmon was able to tap into a part of his soul that recognized had his life not gone the way it did, he might very well find himself in this horrific situation. The desperation is, as another reviewer said, very difficult and painful to watch. You see him slipping a few notches in each succeeding scene...a man literally crumbling before your eyes...made worse by the all-too-obvious self-illusion and fantasy that he is operating under: The Machine is on the comeback trail. What makes this performance bearable and wondrous is Lemmon's mastery in making you want to believe in the legend: unfortunately, the dying embers of his former smalltime glory do little to shelter one from the relentless rain that pours down on this movie and on this sad character.
Al Pacino: I have to believe that this is withtout a doubt his greatest role. He was born to play Ricky Roma...it's pure poetry, astounding. His scenes in the restaurant selling the dupe are as good as anything I've ever seen in cinema. Interesting (for me at least) that for all of the huffing and puffing Pacino is known for, it's the sly, whispered, understated dialogue here that leaps off the screen with a deftness of touch that is awe-inspiring. The scene with Lemmon at the office in front of the reluctant client is a delightful master class in portraying deceit (probably the only moment that offers some temporary relief)...and it's so convincing, you want him to prevail. The relationship between he and Lemmon that reveals itself in the last part of the film is heart-wrenching; Lemmon sees what he once was, and what he mistakenly believes he can be again; Pacino demonstrates a half-hearted deference for Old School, and sees what he wants to believe he won't end up as.
Kevin Spacey: Cold and ruthless as they come...as another reviewer pointed out, he only tolerates Pacino's character because he's currently the producer in the office. We all know that situation has to - and will - change. Spacey's skillfully-nuanced relationship with the others immediately establishes the graduated office hierarchy - from Blake and the boys downtown, to the office doormat (Arkin). Spacey's scenes with Lemmon are the most difficult of all to watch, it almost makes me wonder how they did it.
Ed Harris: Dripping with venom, and bringing new meaning to the word "bitter." The kind of guy you feel for on one level, but nontheless despise - until you see him confronted by the likes of Alec Baldwin. This character is the ticking time bomb in the movie, and you cringe to see the influence he's having over Arkin. Their scenes together are fascinating, as you realize neither of them is going to make it. The dialogue between them is brilliant, and the editing enhances the urgency of their predicament.
Alan Arkin: I was so glad to hear his commentary in the Special Features, because his description of the background he invented for his character matched precisely my ideas about the guy. Mealy-mouthed, weak-kneed, and swimming amongst sharks, he'd be the first to die if this were an action flick. Part of what makes his character so compelling is that he reminds us scruples and morality have no place in the seedy business of third-class sales.... It's tough to see someone doing a job that you can tell from a mile away they don't have a prayer at.
Alec Baldwin: Every actor should be so lucky to get 10 minutes like that....an extraordinary opportunity for an extraordinary role amongst the top people in the profession. He was perfectly cast, I can't imagine another actor in this part. This SOB could make ANYONE feel like a complete failure. There is a strong underlying sexuality to the character, and a hypnotic appeal that makes you hate and fear him (of course), but there's more.... he brings out in the viewer a dark side that admires this kind of power and determination - an almost giddy, willing subservience. Part of you actually starts thinking his way: "Yeah, geez, you guys are losers."
Jonathon Pryce: It's a strange sensation rooting against a victim! This guy was a tremendous launching pad for Pacino's character. A brow-beaten, hen-pecked, shadow of a man who has difficulty standing up for himself even when he's right. Lulled and reeled in by the vituoso Roma over drinks, you end up resenting him for spoiling the dream and tarnishing Roma's golden touch. A great and understated performance.
Again, the storyline is almost superfluous IMO. As for the language - it would be odd if the film were not steeped in crude invective, that's how this class of businessman talks; it's absolutely essential to the film.
I really like another reviewer's remarks about the deadly atmosphere generated by characters we never actually see: Mitch and Murray, Jerry Graff, Shelley's daughter in the hospital, Mrs. Lingk, the Nyborgs, etc. They weigh gloomily over the characters, and create a genuine sense of un-ease within the viewer. I've never seen this device used so effectively.
This film is far more disturbing than any conventional violence or horror, because this is the kind of horror that touches many more lives than guns and ghouls. It happens everywhere - grown men grovelling to eke out a meager existence under the thumb of inhuman bosses, and brown-nosed middle-management. As awful as it is to witness, the performances of this stellar cast are so far out of the ballpark, I find myself inexorably riveted to every single word, line, gesture, and facial expression.
This is a monument of horrible beauty, epic in its dissection of a brutal world, and the men that are consumed by it. I'll watch this film for a long time to come. Thank you David Mamet, James Foley, and the aforementioned actors for making this masterpiece.