Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out Of Sight

Writes Roger Ebert:

"…Steven Soderbergh's ``Out of Sight'' is a crime movie less interested in crime than in how people talk, flirt, lie and get themselves into trouble. Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, it relishes Leonard's deep comic ease; the characters mosey through scenes existing primarily to savor the dialogue.

"The story involves a bank robber named Foley (George Clooney) and a federal marshal named Sisco (Jennifer Lopez) who grow attracted to each other while they're locked in a car trunk. Life goes on, and in the nature of things, it's her job to arrest him. But several things might happen first.

"This is the fourth recent adaptation of a Leonard novel, after ``Get Shorty,'' ``Touch'' and ``Jackie Brown,'' and the most faithful to Leonard's style. What all four movies demonstrate is how useful crime is as a setting for human comedy. For example: All caper movies begin with a self-contained introductory caper that has nothing at all to do with the rest of the plot. A cop will disarm a hostage, or a terrorist will plant a preliminary bomb. ``Out of Sight'' begins with the most laid-back bank robbery you'd want to see, as Clooney saunters up to a teller's window and politely asks, ``This your first time being held up?'' How he cons the teller is one of the movie's first pleasures. The point of the scene is behavior, not robbery.

"At the center of the film is the repartee between Jennifer Lopez and George Clooney, and these two have the kind of unforced fun in their scenes together that reminds you of Bogart and Bacall. There's a seduction scene in which the dialogue is intercut with the very gradual progress of the physical action, and it's the dialogue that we want to linger on. Soderbergh edits this scene with quiet little freeze-frames; nothing quite matches up, and yet everything fits, so that the scene is like a demonstration of the whole movie's visual and time style.…"

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