I gotta say, more films need to be made from award-winning plays. If Glengarry Glen Ross is any indication, you cannot go wrong making a film adaptation of a smartly written play, especially when the filmmakers know what the hell they’re doing. James Foley takes David Mamet’s adapted script and forges an ironclad film of such style and flair that I’m still having trouble wrapping my mind around the entire thing.
The film starts off like any other well-written film does, introducing its characters quietly and placing them in the setting of a real estate company. Then in comes Alec Baldwin’s character, and all of a sudden the shit has definitely hit the bricks. From then on, the film is a bullet-riddling gatling gun of amazing scriptwriting and equally amazing filmmaking. The use of color in this film is pervasive and mood-setting, the camerawork is dynamic and eye-catching, the score evocative of noirs of the past, and the construction and usage of the sets evokes the stage play origins from which the film sprouted from. The cast (Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, etc) all do an excellent job; this is one of the weightiest films when it comes to the power of the cast of actors. As for the writing, it bounces off each character like a ricochet, gleefully toying with wordplay and sentence rhythm like an Aaron Sorkin script. If anything in this film should make you watch it, it’s the script, and thankfully, the rest of the film eagerly matches the script in power and effect.
I’ve always been a sucker for great writing, especially when it’s handled well as a film, and the archetype for this kind of film is, without question, Glengarry Glen Ross. There were so many moments where I just sat in awe or laughed out loud from the sheer, mind-blowing greatness of what was transpiring on the screen; I couldn’t help myself. I needed this, this revitalization of my quest, this breath of fresh air that these films really can be great, great films. If I had to choose a handful of films from the list to show to someone to convince them to start off on this quest, to convince them to delve deeper into the realm of fantastic cinema, Glengarry Glen Ross would unquestionably be one of those films. Seriously, it is that good.
Arbitrary Rating: 10/10