|Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on June 7, 2010 at 10:40 PM|
MILLER'S CROSSING ***1/2
IDEA: One dubious criminal lieutenant fights his way through rival gang crossfire in order to pull the strings on both sides.
BLURB: Less a self-serious gangster film than a winking homage to the gangster and noir genres, Miller’s Crossing is the Coen brothers’ taut yarn of deception and ethically challenged criminals. Woven in similar fashion to many a knotty crime tale, the story juggles several characters whose names are immediately and disorderly thrown at us; the initial frustration in trying to designate their roles is almost off-putting. But it proves more than worth the effort by the time Leo, the threatened and elder Irish mob boss, leaps out his window and single-handedly takes on a batch of thugs with a sputtering Tommy gun and an ode to “O Danny Boy.” The further you get into the picture, the more these wry Coen stylizations become apparent. Their natural knack for storytelling, visual cues, and crackling dialogue twists this Prohibition-era gangster flick into an assuredly unique pastiche.