|Posted by Gerald Wright on February 16, 2012 at 6:30 AM|
Directed by: Jill Sprecher
Running time: 93 min.
Release date: February 17, 2012
Genre: Drama, Comedy, and Crime Thriller
Distributor: Arts Takes Over releasing
MPAA Rating: R
It is said, "money is the root of all evil", and it holds true in this clever tale reminiscent of, The Sting with a hint of Fargo. Filmmaker Jill Sprecher and also co-writer of this movie along with her screenwriter sister Karen Sprecher who collaborated on their debut independent feature Clockwatchers (1997), once again craft a witty story of greed and deception.
Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) is a small town insurance agent looking for a way to jump-start his business, reunite with his estranged wife (Lea Thompson) and escape the frigid Wisconson weather. This self-proclaimed master of spin believes that salesmanship is about selling a story - all he needs is a sucker willing to buy it.
Mickey hits pay dirt with a lonely old retired farmer Gorvy Hauer played by the veteran actor Alan Arkin who is sitting a rare violin. While employing a salesman Bob Egan (David Harbour) to sell Gorvy an insurance policy. Mickey decides to takeover the sale because, Gorvy wants to throw out rare violin that he believes is junk and Mickey believes has found something much bigger than an insurance commission. Greg Kinnear brilliantly portrays a man who is both conniving and endearing as attempts to con the old man Gorvy of of his property.
As Mickey believes he is the insurance salesman who thinks he knows all the angles and his con spins out of control, he comes in contact with a nosy unstable locksmith named Randy Kinney (Billy Crudup) with a volantile temper who decides he wants in on the scam. This performance is livey in the sense of Billy Crudup almost on the verge of psychodrama.
Blending dark comedy and delirious Midwestern noir, the tale takes a dramatic journey of ups and downs, deceit and double-crossing. The screwball tension between the characters asre so specific in showcasing the character interaction, which is crucial to the film.
This is a story that is constantly veering off in surprising new directions.
FILM RATING (B)