Precious, which Oprah got hold of and the rest is tinkered-with history. Precious, too, was over-the-top, but because it had an oh-so-needy protagonist at its center, the film came off as more "serious," even though many of us had some trouble accepting it quite like that. It was also filled with good performances (no doubt about it, Daniels corrals top actors and lets them strut their stuff), but whether the filmmaker was more interested in shocking us than entertaining and/or edifying us was up for grabs.
memory film, which plays tonight at 8:30 at the New York Film Film Festival (as part of its Tribute to Nicole Kidman: The actress, one of the film's stars, is shown at right) and then opens theatrically on Friday. Finally, I believe, Daniels has hit his mark almost perfectly. His new film is as shocking, sleazy, sexy, ugly and, yes, entertaining, as you could want. And when the filmmaker deals with subjects such as race, class, "otherness" and sexuality, he nails these, as well, deeply and beautifully.
Scott Glenn (above), whose two sons -- played by Zac Efron (below, right, as a young man still trying to discover what he wants and needs) and Matthew McConaughey (below, left, who has moved to larger, more sophisticated surroundings as a noted reporter in Miami).
Miss Kidman), who appears to have a predilection for prisoner lovers. Just now she's fixated on a man found guilty of murder (a commanding, shocking turn by John Cusak, below), whom she and McConaughey believe is innocent.