In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Jean François Heckel,
American oil companies Connex and smaller Killen are undergoing a merger, the new company named Connex-Killen. The move is in response to Connex losing a number of oil fields in the Persian Gulf region as Prince Nasir Al-Subaai, his country's foreign minister, and the oldest son of the Emir and thus the heir apparent to the throne, signed a contract with the Chinese instead. As Killen somehow managed to get the contract for the oil fields in Kazahkstan, the merger would give Connex-Killen additional control of the industry in the Middle East. Connex's retained law firm, headed by Dean Whiting, assigns Bennett Holiday to demonstrate to the US Department of Justice that due diligence has been done to allow the merger to proceed i.e. that the merger would not break any antitrust regulations. The US government is unhappy with Prince Nasir's decision to award the contract to the Chinese, and in combination with issues around illegal weapons, the CIA assigns field agent Bob Barnes, who has ...Written by
In the days leading up to the Oscar nominations, the Academy announced that the film's screenplay was considered original, not adapted. Since it had been strongly advertised as adapted, many believed the film would not be nominated. It was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but lost to Crash (2004). See more »
When Bryan Woodman is handed the party invitation by his colleague, you could read the party will take place in "Casa Esperanza" (Hope House), Marbella, Spain. Upon his arrival, the Emir, who is the host of the party, calls the house "Casa de las Palmas". See more »
Politics of the Middle East 101 - artfully presented
I torture-tested Syriana - watched it twice over the course of two days. Why? Because I had read that it was a complex film and that it might require two viewings to really get it. After my second viewing, all that I can say is that this film does not live up to its reputation in terms of complexity, and does not treat its subject matter with the reputed depth people seem so willing to ascribe to it. Seems to me that the film introduces the complexity of Middle East/U.S. relations, but doesn't really indicate how deep the rabbit hole goes. I did not learn much from it, but unlike most Hollywood political films, I did not disagree with it either. Despite these comments - which were not meant to be critical - Syriana is a very serious and very good film. In my opinion it is less a thriller and more of a political drama.
Clooney plays Bob Barnes, a CIA field operative who is beginning to develop a conscience. Damon plays a financial analyst who, after the death of his eldest son, becomes adviser and friend to a smart reformist prince (Siddig). Jeffrey Wright gives an outstanding performance as a smart, aggressive attorney preparing for a merger between two oil companies by investigating their dealings in the region very critically. A young man (Amr Waked) and his father are deported from Iran because of a change in ownership at the refinery they worked in, and the young man begins to be drawn toward Islamic fundamentalism. These, and other stories, intertwine and eventually merge explosively.
Although Syriana is not a happy go-lucky walk in the park Disney show, I found it just as interesting and compelling the second time around. This speaks very highly for the films artistry and the performances of the entire cast. Clooney and Daman are always good, but both shine especially nicely in the less mainstream roles they brought to life in Syriana. This film (or the mediocre Kingdom of Heaven) should be a long overdue breakthrough for the great Alex Siddig (Siddig Al Fadil). The cast is a long list of some of Hollywood's brightest (if not most well paid) stars. Each member of the ensemble plays their part very well, and with obvious conviction.
The soundtrack is great! Gaghan's script is excellent, and the cinematography and directing are both good, though perhaps a little derivative of Traffic. Gahgan is establishing himself as one of more objective and well-informed script writers of films with political points, and I am glad to see that he is handling this difficult role with the passion, artistry and intellect it requires.
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