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Word Count: 390
This is an icy cold adaptation of Jim Thompsons novel about con artists with tough working-woman Huston coming back into the life of her grown son after many years of estrangement and finding that hes taken up with a woman much like herself Bleak and fascinating with three first-class performances Grifters got an irresistible urge to beat a guy thats wise an old-timer tells Roy John Cusack And yet the three characters here--played by Angelica Huston Cusack and Bening-only beat the innocent Lilly gigs at the track for a mobster named Bobo putting wads of cash on long-shot horses to even out the odds Roy her son swindles citizens by dimes and degrees flashing twenties at bars then paying for his beer with tens His girlfriend Myra is hustling herself her salad days as a long-con roper are behind her Theirs is a world of gut punches and smart lines I think I watched The Grifters three times before we had to return it on Sunday and it wasnt just Annette Benings by-now notorious nude scene more than anything it was the foul-mouthed cool of John Cusack Where the women in the film are given instantly identifiable outrageously great roles to chew on Cusacks performance is sleeker subtler He occupies both the position of innocent narrator and the jaded melancholic jerk More than anything it is a movie you jump into rather than just watch Like a pool of light in a dark damp alley your eyes cant help but be drawn to it The Grifters isnt perfect and perhaps thats why it still not quite considered a classic There is many a rough spots and some of the exposition gets too close to being outright silly The narrative can be obvious but the tone and feel never waver The important question going through our minds through The Grifters is simple Whos
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