I had never heard of this movie until I started working at Warner Archive Collection last year and when I saw that they had a movie with Marcello Mastroianni in it, I just had to watch it. I finally got around to watching it earlier this week and discovered that it was in fact directed by a woman (Kidron also directed To Wong Foo among other things). I’m glad I waited so long to watch it because I’ve learned a lot in the last few months from things I’ve read and conversations I’ve had with women and I think I wouldn’t have appreciated this movie as much if I had watched it earlier.
I hadn’t seen this movie until last weekend. I have no idea why I waited so long to see it. I mean, it has a stellar cast and Clint Eastwood is a favorite of mine (as a writer and a director). It’s also based on Dennis Lehane novel (who also wrote the novels on which Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone were based), with a screenplay written by Brian Helgeland (who shares an Oscar with Curtis Hanson for their on L.A. Confidential). Despite all of that, it took me nearly a decade to actually watch the film. Boy was it worth the wait. It’s probably one of the most tense films I’d ever seen. It was nominated for six Oscars winning two: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Marcia Gay Harden, Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins (won), Best Actor Sean Penn (won), Best Director and Best Picture. Incidentally, this was the first time Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor had come from the same film since 1959’s Ben-Hur. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Lost in Translation, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Seabiscuit and winner The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.