peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2010 11 22 TheAmerican

The American

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At The Ritz with Rob, the 9:10pm session, with maybe ten other people. Someone must have told Corbijn to stop making moving photographs ala Control as the opening scene has some pointlessly shaky handheld camerawork. Fortunately Dogme 2010 this is not.

Overall it was OK but not as good as his previous effort, largely because the source material was not as strong, or perhaps Corbijn is more passionate about rock stars than quiet men. I would have liked to have seen more of the urban life in the Italian villages, and for all of the characters to be more fully developed. Clara is the prostitute with a heart of gold who decides she wants to exchange it for US dollars... seemingly unaware of what a losing proposiiton that is now. Clooney's early finger work assembling the rifle leads us to think he is more klutz than craftsman, despite the protestations to his mechanical dexterity (yes, yes, with Clara too).

It ambles OK but just doesn't add up to anything much.

Review by Dana Stevens. A. O. Scott.