July 15, 2006

The Bank

Reviewer: Craig Phillips
Rating (out of 5): ***

Robert Connolly's The Bank is a well-made, tense little thriller from Down Under which manages to make the world of finance and math interesting, even to those of us who don't religiously follow NASDAQ. The opening credits, reminiscent of Vertigo, pull you in, the Philip Glass-like music hypnotizes you, the Wall Street-like morality debate will fascinate. While some of its elements don't feel all that fresh (and listening to the director's fairly pretentious audio commentary won't change your mind), The Bank is presented in a fresh way, the acting is quite good, and the ethical dilemmas debated (huge corporate banks that care not one iota about the common man) are extremely timely. It's a bit funny to see Australian actor Anthony LaPaglia, more often seen these days on American TV shows and American movies, being in a film from his home country and yet playing an American - but he does so quite well. The characters aren't as deep as you might hope for, but deep enough as thrillers go, and the farm family in particular is poignantly captured. There are some genuinely surprising (if occasionally farfetched) little twists as the plot unfolds, and the moody and tense atmosphere of this cool, unfeeling world is heightened by Tristan Milani's cinematography. All in all, well worth a rental for anyone looking for a thriller that doesn't pander to the audience. -- Craig Phillips

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Posted by cphillips at July 15, 2006 10:39 AM | TrackBack
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