Saturday, June 3, 2023

Cocaine Bear (2023).

Sometimes a critic gets lucky, and is able to claim they were part of the audience when word of mouth first began to spread about a must see film.  That's sort of what happened to me in the case of the picture up for review today.  I was one of the many who were bombarded with advertisements for this movie, and all of it was set to the dulcet tones of Melle Mel's White Lines playing on the soundtrack.  That's pretty fitting, considering what the subject matter of this flick is.  In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a marketing campaign for a cinema release conducted with such slick and consummate skill as I have on Cocaine Bear.  Yes the title is ridiculous, and the premise sounds like something tossed off by Mad Magazine during its drug fueled, 70s hey-day.  And yet I'll be darned if the promoters of this film didn't find the right way to at least get me interested in their product.  Which begs the question, how well does it hold up?

The Story and It's Real Life Inspiration.  

The first thing to understand about a film like Cocaine Bear (aside from how the title is one of those notions that just gets stuck in your head the moment you even hear it) is that it's one of those movies that always comes with a "Based (however loosely) on a True Story" moniker attached to it in the credits.  The real punchline seems to be how the film's director, Elizabeth Banks, is still able to use that phrase with a relatively straight face.  It turns out there is a kernel of fact tucked away within the folds of the otherwise complete fantasy that Banks has to spin for her audience.  It's one of those minor anecdotes of history which are so unbelievable that's it's almost bemusing just to realize it was something that happened.  That's why I think it's best to get the history out of the way first, as it helps give us a factual starting point for understanding the basic story Banks has to tell.  We'll begin, in other words, with the facts as real life presents them, before letting the fairy tale assume the narrative control.

In real life, the whole thing seems to have begun with a face in the crowd.  The name that belonged to it was Andrew C. Thornton II.  Here's a guy who would otherwise have never stuck out in any notable way in life if it hadn't been for all the choices he made throughout his career.  He was just some nothing kid from Bourbon, Kentucky.  His parent's owned their own horse breeding farm, might have been local community pillars, the usual sort of thing, you know?  They send their kid to a good private education school, complete with a Polo Club.  He later graduates to military academy and lasts one semester there before dropping out to join the army.  He winds up at Fort Bragg, where Thornton trained as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.  It was there that our young instigator learned he had a kind of natural talent for chute jumping.  He got to be so good at it that he was later allowed to participate in the 1965 invasion of the Dominican Republic.  In retrospect, maybe that's where everything started to go wrong.  The mid 60s was a time when a lot the world's major governments got up to a lot of skeevy activities behind the scenes.  The basic idea is that everyone kept up a false front of being at odds in public, while all sharing more or less the same bed in private, and places like Santo Domingo were no exception.  They never made the same headlines as Vietnam, yet they kept their hand in the games.

Long story short, it was another "theater of war" where a lot of the adversaries seemed very cozy with one another more than they let on, American troops were dispatched to the region as a combination of distraction and easy scapegoats.  The outcome was a steaming hot mess with no real glory or honor to be found anywhere, and the conflict itself seems to have been little more than the launch pad for the modern narcotics trafficking as we still know it today.  Somewhere in the midst of all that, it seems like Thornton might have got caught up with the nascent, yet fast growing (and reaping) Narcos crowd.  In other words, it seems that what happened is Andy Thornton went into the Dominicans as your average, clean cut soldier boy.  The guy who emerged after the dust and fog had settled was a classic example of a guy suffering from what Glen Frey would have called a clear cut case of the Smuggler's Blues.  I almost want to say that the later music video that was spun out of Frey's hit single acts as a more or less neat summation of the kind of career Thornton had for the remainder of his life.  His wiki page claims that Andy started smuggling during his tenure as an officer in the Lexington Police Department.

That seems to be true as far as a bare surface description of the subject's actions go.  The problem is it doesn't give a good idea of what the whole picture seems to be.  Like, for instance, what's the first thing Thornton does once he puts on the badge?  He somehow gets himself assigned to the the county's Drug Enforcement division.  Not long after, he's busted for smuggling.  What does that tell you?  To me, none of this sounds like accident or happenstance.  It all just sends out alarm bells, with the phrase "Fast One" blaring in red neon letters.  Everything here tells me that it's perhaps a mistake to claim that what we've got on our hands is the simple case of a good cop and former soldier boy gone bad.  I think everything was a bit more arranged than that.  Whatever career Thornton might have planned for himself, he emerged out of the Dominicans a bonafide "Made Man" for the drug traffic trade, and his getting into the Narcotics division of the Kentucky police force was just Andy obeying his orders.  In other words, the most likely scenario is that he was always placed their in order to help speed up the trafficking of all the real heavy stuff into the veins of the American mainstream.  All it ever amounted to was little more than a case of dirty deeds and done dirt cheap, and Andy was in the middle of it all.

He got busted eventually, as you might expect, and when he finally got out of the slammer, his handlers seemed to have realized he'd be more useful working the "trade routes" rather than being stationed higher up the ladder where the walls had more ears than anyone was comfortable with.  So Thornton spent his remaining time as what might be termed a "company courier" sending cocaine across the country.  It was during one fateful run in 1977 that really kicked off the story proper.  Thornton and another accomplice were transporting a supply of Colombian White to a rendezvous point that was further down the line.  At an earlier point, somewhere between Blairsville, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee, Thornton and his accomplice discovered the weight of their cargo had overloaded the plane.  The freight was so much that even if they unloaded some of the "merchandise", there would still be nothing they could do to keep themselves from falling out of the sky.  There was nothing to try except tossing a goodish number of traveler's duffel bags full of cocaine out the window, and then following after on parachute.  I've been unable to find out what happened to Thornton's accomplice.

All I can say for sure is that when it came time for Andy to jump from the plane, one of two possible things happened.  The first is that everything went smoothly.  He dumped the payload down into the forests of Tennessee, he was geared up for such an emergency situation, and was ready to go, come what may.  This smug attitude lasted for all of however long it was from the moment he jumped from the falling plane to the point at which he realized his parachute was defective, and wouldn't open.  The other possibility is the one dramatized at the very start of Banks's film, where Thornton succeeds in dumping the payload, yet the moment he makes a run for the exit, the damn fool wrapped his head a good one on the roof of the plane, at the exact moment he decided to pull a Geronimo.  The impact of the concussion leaves the poor, dumb sap out stone cold, and that's about all she wrote.  Either way, what is certain is this.  Andrew Thornton fell to his death on what turned out to be his very last drug run.  His entire life became a parable of wasted opportunity and misspent youth.  Here is where the troubled young Mr. Thornton exits the story (web) and the really weird part of everything begins.

Like I said, I've been unable to find out whatever happened to Thornton's accomplice.  I do know what happened to the payload they both tossed overboard.  It wound up scattered to the four corners encompassing an area of the Knoxville wilderness.  For the longest time, no one in the local population of the region seemed to have any clue as to what had just transpired way above their heads in the middle of the night.  There's also no intrinsic reason why they should have, either.  Indeed, it is possible to suggest that the whole affair would remain a kind of quasi-non-event.  The historical equivalent of a tree falling in the woods, and no one around to witness it.  Perhaps it would have remained like that if someone hadn't stumbled upon the bear.  In other words, I guess that old parable about the tree falling turned out to be kind of false in this case.  There was someone who found out about the mysterious, missing bags of coke in the woods.  The trick of the tale is that it wasn't anyone human.  Instead, the first "person" to discover Andy Thornton's coke was a North American Black Bear.  And it is precisely at this crucial juncture that the history ends, and the fantasy of Elizabeth Banks and her crew begins.

Conclusion: The Best Richard Bachman Story That Was Never Written.

Perhaps the best way to describe this story is that it's an ensemble piece.  We start out with a more or less straightforward retelling of Thornton and his failed payload drop.  From there, the narrative of the film begins to expand outward.  Not a whole lot, the cast list is limited to just a handful of characters who all come to occupy the same small stage space, yet the film does take its time in slowly setting up all its pieces on the board, allowing audiences time to get to know all of the main cast as they assemble and gather round the playing field.  This is a common courtesy the story is willing to pay both its central players, such as the great Ray Liotta's smuggler kingpin Syd White and his subordinates Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) and Daveed (O'Shea Jackson Jr.), to even such relatively minor figures such as Detective Bob (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), with his touching concern for his newly adopted dog, even if she is the wrong one he sent for.  The film seems almost willing to go out of its way to find reasons to make us care about a group that could have been depicted as a stereotypical ship of fools.  The opportunity to phone it in, and portray the cast as a collection of Red Shirts waiting to be picked off is always staring the director right in the face, and it's to her credit that she instead gives the characters a warm embrace.

Even those figures who are ostensibly meant to be the bad guys, such as Liotta and his posse are treated with the same general sense of big-hearted generosity that is able to give the characters a crucial layers of extra added depth.  This is a particularly notable feature, as while Liotta and a handful of kids (Brooklyn Prince, Christian Convery) and their mother (Keri Russell) are the story's main focus, there are plenty of moments dedicated to the antics of a lot of other individuals that dot the landscape.  This extends to folks like Margo Martindale's Ranger Liz and her bumbling assistant, Peter (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), to a pair of paramedics (Scott Seiss and Kahyun Kim) who somehow manage to leave a pretty good impact, despite showing up for just one sequence of the story.  Each of these characters is able to add to the overall sense of purpose that's driving the plot, even though just a handful of them are ever the film's main focus.  It makes me wonder if Elizabeth Banks might be a fan of movies like Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad, Mad World (1963).  That's another film centered around an expansive cast of players whose exploits all revolve around a carefully hidden stash of items.  Banks' story is a lot less ambitious than Kramer's, who was able to assemble a cast of literal thousands to help stage a parable of human greed and stupidity.  Banks limits her scope to just three main groups, while much like her earlier counterpart, she makes sure the proceedings are handled with tongue firmly in cheek.

Indeed, the notable aspect of the film is how it is able to deftly handle its delicate balance of both humor and horror.  This is the other major component to the story.  In many ways, Cocaine Bear deserves to join the ranks of a specific type modern Gothic cinema, that of the sub-category known as "Nature Run Amok".  This is the type of narrative that owes its existence to the breakout performance of Steven Spielberg's Jaws.  It's the kind of story featuring a cast of wildlife chow that's basically turned loose in an imaginary room with a predator, and the audience is left to see who gets to make it out alive.  If the 1975 adaptation of a now obscure Peter Benchley novel had never turned into the first Summer blockbuster, then it's an open question of if we would have ever had similar films of this kind, such as Joe Dante's Piranha (1978), Lake Placid (1999), or Deep Blue Sea (ibid).  All of these films take place on or adjacent to the ocean, though there have been examples in the past which are situated on dry land.  Cocaine Bear is just the latest in a long line of such films, yet it may also wind up as the most well regarded land predator of the species.  What we have then is a very specific hybrid style film.

What we've got on our hands is a combination Screwball Comedy spliced with "Nature Run Amok".  In other words, a good description of this film is that label it as It's a Mad World meets Jaws, except this time the predator is giant, hulking Mama Bear that's high on Panama White.  It's as ridiculous and crazily enthralling as it sounds.  The real question left to ask is how well all these ingredients play out when they are mixed together.  Well this is the part where Banks is able to surprise you.  The movie opens by giving you the impression that once the maguffin has been established all you should expect is for a bunch of random encounters between the titular Bear and whoever the script decides the throw into its jaws first.  That's not the sort of film we wind up with, however.  Yes, it's true this movie deserves to be seen as a throwback to the kind of late night, Drive-In schlock fests that made guys like Roger Corman famous, and yet much like the creator of Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Banks proves her skill as a director by finding an actual story worth telling at the heart of her otherwise cheesy premise.  It's a talent she shares with Corman, and it puts her in good stead.  The main plot hinges on two groups of people.  The first is Liotta and his crew, looking for the payload.  The other is Keri Russell's worried mother looking for her missing daughter.  All the other figures in the play are ancillary as they weave in and out of the paths of the narrative's two main leads or focal points.

Perhaps the biggest strength of the script is that it allows Banks to include a crucial ingredient that makes all the difference between a passable mediocrity, and fairly decent entertainment that's probably worth the occasional re-watch.  The writing is able to sketch out its two to four main leads in a way that finds all the best possible ways of making you care about them.  Screenwriter Jimmy Warden seems to have realized that the actual heart of the film never quite rests with its setup, or if it does, then something extra is needed to make sure the story sticks in your mind after you've left the theater.  He appears to have been smart enough to realize a movie like this can't survive on schlock alone.  Rather, let's say that all the best schlock has to have some sort of extra weight to it, so that you've been given a memorable experience at the same time as you're probably laughing your ass off.  In order to do that, the filmmakers need to find out whatever that extra quality is that helps elevate the material above just another hack work cash-in.  This was something guys like Corman excelled at, and why his work is still  remembered to this day.  In the case of Banks and Warden, the solution to their problem comes from two intertwined components.  The first is the aforementioned big-hearted atmosphere that Banks works so well at grounding her characters in.  The second is that she let's the film have real stakes.

It's true that the vast majority of the film consists of the title character stumbling across random hikers and disemboweling them in a lot of hilarious ways.  It's the film's major selling point, yet it's not it's ultimate focus.  Like I said, Bank's skill behind the camera, and Warden's gift with the pen is that they each are able to find and maintain the proper sense of balance between Horror and Comedy.  Everything starts out on a very humorous note with Thornton and the failed drop.  This comedic tone keeps up as we meet our first group of Bear chow (Elsa and Olaf, respectively, which gives you an idea of the kind of light-hearted tone the film opens with) and proceeds to keep with this style as we move first from one secondary character to the next, until we reach the point where we are left following Russell and Liotta as they make their way through the forest toward their respective goal (the cocaine for Ray, the children for Russell).  The crucial thing that happens is so imperceptible that sometimes the audience might not notice the tonal shift until later in the third act of the film.  This is because Banks is able to play with the movies tone in a way that calls to mind the more subtle approaches of John Carpenter.

Her film is a lot less serious, while still being gorier than Halloween (the capping irony, of course, being that it's the Carpenter flick which is still more frightening than any bear in the woods), yet the director is able to pull off what amounts to a very clever tonal shift as the film progresses.  Without ever losing its sense of humor, the story does begin to take on this macabre sense of drollery as the Bear continues its rampage.  Nowhere is this best on display than in the film's first major set piece.  It features Russell's worried mother figure as she's slogging through the woods looking for her daughter, along with the kid's best friend.  At this point in the story, she's accompanied by Peter and Ranger Liz, when they come upon the young boy sequestered up a tree.  He's decided to take shelter after his first major encounter with the Angel Dust Ursine of Yellowstone, and it's one of those scenarios where the child tries to warn the adults of impending danger, only for the grown-ups to be slow on the uptake, and then the threat is brought on-stage to do its thing.  In this case, mayhem and hilarity ensues.  What's notable about it is how neatly the scene transitions from one of humor, to that of horror.

It starts out with a few shenanigans, in which the characters prove they wouldn't be out of place in a Preston Sturges film, and then the Bear jumps them from behind, and its as if someone spliced one of the shark attacks from Spielberg's film in with a Loony Tunes skit.  It's a delicate balance, and yet the writing sells it.  Your able to laugh when one of the characters says or does something in what's clearly a comedic fashion, and then the everything transitions to Horror the minute the Bear turns around and begins to maul and reduce them to a red pulp up a tree.  It's gone from a situation of authentic humor to one that's genuinely horrific in just a few short beats.  This is the dichotomy the film maintains throughout its runtime, and once more, the best way to describe it all is a very fine balancing act.  

Banks has the difficult job of keeping these two plates spinning the entire time without ever once letting either one drop.  She has to maintain this dual tonal stance while at the same time making sure the story that's generating these elements remains entertaining.  The fact that she's able to maintain this precarious tonal stability from the opening all the way to the closing shot amounts to an open display of talent that is both surprising and gratifying by equal tuns.  What helps is that you don't see it coming.

Even when you know the Bear is out there, Warden's script keeps you guessing where its going to pop up next, and then it reveals the creature hiding in plain sight right in front of you all along, thus doubling the sense of threat, and making you laugh all at the same time.  Banks is able to realize these qualities in such a way as to create what amounts to a hybrid species of cinema.  It's not the first Horror comedy that anyone's ever seen.  For that to be the case, films like Ghostbusters and Shaun of the Dead would have to not exist.  Instead, much like the Edgar Wright film, Banks is able to locate that happy medium where a comedic film can manage to create a genuine sense of Gothic threat, even as it's making you laugh.  Where the two films differ the most (aside from obvious questions of basic setup) is is in the greater sense of tonal payoff that each is aiming for.  Even in its darkest moments, Wright's film remains this essentially cheery, even heartwarming affair.  Now to be fair, Banks's movie can be said to do something similar.  The major difference is that she packs her film with this somewhat grotesque sense of humor.  While it's true that there's this great sense of big-heartedness, the story never flinches on its Horror elements when they occur.  Like Shaun when it commits to the darker aspects of the story, it goes all in, and this time the narrative carries a harder edge to its terror, with a real bite.

This is the real reason why I almost want to label the film as a hybrid.  If that's the case though, then the irony is how (for me at least) it's also a very familiar mixed breed.  What I'm about say next is the kind of thing that's only going to make sense if you're the kind of book person who's also a fan of Stephen King.  Because believe it or not, what this film winds up doing is reminding me of some of his work.  Specifically, it's like watching the kind story that King used to sometimes write under the fictional name of "Richard Bachman".  He was a pseudonym that the reigning Monarch of Frights used to employ for a time in order to see if people were buying his books because of the stories, or else just because it was his name on the cover.  The result was a series of book with a familiar enough sounding tone for those who are Constant Readers of King's works.  The major notable factor about the Bachman books is that there was always this off-kilter, slightly skewed angle to them.  Here's what I mean, and I swear I'll explain how a bunch of long ago novels ties into a film of a Bear that's high on cocaine.

What Banks's film seems to have in common with the novels King published under the Bachman pseudonym is this same shared skewed outlook, or narrative tone, which determines the look and feel of their secondary worlds.  I think King is the one who was able to describe this literary atmospheric vibe, and the mindset that it was an expression of, way back in 1996.  That's when the author felt compelled to explain what "Richard Bachman Frame of Mind" amounts to in terms of artistic expression.  He did this in an essay entitled The Importance of Being Bachman.  It's there he describes the contents of this mind set as "low rage and simmering despair".  Those are simple enough concepts to grasp, I suppose.  The trouble is that (aside from creating the kind of artistic vibe that's sure to alienate and turn away most of the audience) it doesn't really get to the heart of things.  Besides, if rage was the only element to the Bachman novels, then they still wouldn't have a shelf life after all these years.  Perhaps King does a better job of describing the "Bachman" mind frame when he talks about how he came to write one of his first fully completed novels.  It had the simple title of Rage and can be read as a kind of non-supernatural precursor to later books such as Carrie and Christine.  At the same time, it also reads like an eerily uncanny blue print for the kind of gun violence incidents we're living through today.

It was the first time "Richard Bachman" spoke up as a pseudonym in the author's mind, and the circumstances couldn't have been more ironic in hindsight.  King admits he's not at all proud of the book these days, and is more than happy to let it go out of print.  However, it was the origin of what might be called the "Bachman Outlook", and the way the old New England scribbler describes its genesis does a great deal more in getting us to understand the kind of shared aesthetic atmosphere which makes up at least a part of a movie like Cocaine Bear.  This is how King describes the creation of Richie Bachman and his pseudonym novel.  "What gives me more comfort is the sure knowledge that the book was written with no bad intent, although it was written by a troubled eighteen year old boy-man who seems a stranger to me now; that boy-man was really neither King nor Bachman but a weird (and perhaps dangerous) hybrid of both.  Like most people, I suspect, I have trouble remembering my teenage years - it's like trying to recall conversations you might have had while running a high fever - but one thing I do remember is that the fury and terror and jagged humor (not wit, the funny stuff in Rage is the furthest thing on earth from wit) found in that story had only one real purpose, and that was the purpose of all my early fiction: to save my life and sanity. What made me feel so crazy so much of the time back then? I don't know, Constant Reader, and that's the truth. My head felt like it was always on the verge of exploding, but I have forgotten why (web)".  Here's the heart of the matter, however.

"The good folks mostly win, courage usually triumphs over fear, the family dog hardly ever contracts rabies; these are things I knew at twenty - five, and things I still know now, at the age (almost) of 25 x 2. But I know something else as well: there's a place in most of us where rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters. It is good to have a voice in which the terrors of such a place can be articulated and its geography partially described, without denying the sunshine and clarity that fill so much of our ordinary lives. For me, Bachman is that voice...Bachman had become a kind of id for me; he said the things I couldn't, and the thought of him out there on his New Hampshire dairy farm - not a best-selling writer who gets his name in some stupid Forbes list of entertainers too rich for their own good, of his face on the Today show or doing cameos in movies - quietly writing his books, gave him leave to think in ways I could not think and speak in ways I could not speak (ibid)".  Finally, King helps us out by providing as neat a summation of all of this as we are ever likely to get.  He does this by citing the inspiration he got from a fellow ink stained wretch.

"In the first draft of The Dark Half, I had Thad Beaumont quote Donald E. Westlake, a very funny writer who has penned a series of very grim crime novels under the name Richard Stark. Once asked to explain the dichotomy between Westlake and Stark, Westlake said "I write Westlake stories on sunny days. When it rains. I'm Stark." I don't think that made it into the final version of The Dark Half, but I have always loved it (and related to it, as it has become fashionable to say). Bachman - a fictional creation who became more real to me with each published book which bore his byline - was a rainy - day sort of guy if ever there was one (ibid)".  The only reason for bringing all of this seemingly unrelated background material into play here is because it marks the only other way I've found to describe the crazy Jekyll and Hyde tone of Bank's film.  Earlier on, I referred to the movie as big-hearted.  That's a descriptive label I'm more than willing to stand by.  I've also called the picture schizoid, and everything King says about the nature of his "Bachman" writings is the best match or way of describing this film's darker aspects.  In that sense, Banks can be said to have made a legitimate Horror Comedy on her hands, one that is equal parts brutal, hilarious, and heart warming by turns.

In that sense, I guess a good way to sum up the film is that it could be described as a Richard Bachman story where the pseudonym has learned how to find a silver lining, or at least look on the bright side of things, if that makes any sense.  It's true there are plenty moments of When Animals Attack style gore to go around.  Although even here, the heightened sense of reality that the film displays always stays at just enough of a remove to keep things from ever getting too dire.  We're dealing with a caricature of real life here, in other words.  Yes bad things happen to several cast members in this film, yet whenever it happens, Banks is given a chance to show off her skills with a form of black comedy that always manages to keep the tongue firmly in cheek.  There's almost this Mad Magazine style sensibility to the wildest moments of the picture.  It always manages to find this crazy sense of levity even in the direst of situations.  A good example (without spoilers) is the way one of the main cast is able to stand up to a local gang in the area.  There's plenty of brutality to go around in a particular scene involving an altercation in a men's room.  And yet the way Banks frames the scene, or how the main actor portrays it all is what manages to lift a dire situation into the realm of a Tom and Jerry comedy routine.

What's funny about all that is how Warden's script is able to neatly segue from what all intents and purposes is a Martin Scorsese style Mean Streets scenario, and then transition right back into that same, familiar sense of big-heartedness.  This makes the film rely on a complex number of tonal shifts that can be tricky to pull off if the writer doesn't know what he's doing, or how to handle characters in situations like this.  That Warden and Banks are able to pull this off not once but every time when the script calls for it to happen is one of the most understated demonstrations of talent that I think I've managed to catch in a modern film.  All of which is enough to allow me to say this film is easy to recommend.  I came into this not totally blind, yet I did know there was going to be enough of a deviation from the facts so that I could never quite guess where the film was going, and that turns out to be a good thing in this case.  It's true the film is loosely based on a real event.  Andrew Thornton really did fuck up royal during what turned out to be his last drug run, and a forested area of Knoxville did get coated with the magic powder from the skies.  More to the point, a bear did in fact really freaking ingest I think like a whole entire bar of the fucking stuff.  Let that stand as a level of ridiculousness that real life has supplied the filmmakers with on this one.  It's a case of reality being less real than fiction.

Don't ask me why that should be the case, because I'll swear I'm still scratching my head over it.  There's not much more to tell as far as real life is concerned.  I have no idea if there was ever as crazy and convoluted a search for the missing kilos of Dominican White as portrayed in the film.  I do know that the famous ursine in question has gone on to earn itself the nickname of Pablo Eskobear.  It's the kind of moniker and situation that sounds like something out of an old 90s rerun of Married with Children, and yet Banks and Warden are able to take everything and give this strange kind of dignity.  It's not the kind of film you expect, and yet it manages to win you over with a great deal of success.    

No comments:

Post a Comment