Italian American

4 Sep

Not much happens in The American, and for a while, that’s alright. George Clooney’s Jack, in Italy to take care of one last job, is a man of few words and even fewer personal connections. We watch as he befriends a priest and a prostitute, and builds a customized weapon for a client, but so little is known about Jack, and about his assignment as a whole, that it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on. Thankfully, photographer Anton Corbijn‘s film is gorgeous to look at. There are some striking images, many beautifully composed, and this elevates the film — but doesn’t detract from it, like in Tom Ford’s A Single Man. Also impressive is Clooney’s controlled, quiet performance. Pretty much all the film’s action takes place in Jack’s head as he contemplates his life and just what all this violence is for, and while he doesn’t say much in words, he says plenty in his reactions and facial expressions. Unfortunately, what little there is of a plot heads towards its inevitable conclusion in somewhat predictable fashion, and that makes this too subtle film a bit disappointing in the end. I’m giving The American a B.

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