Projections - Movie Reviews

Silver City
Silver City
Starring Daryl Hannah, Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson,Richard Dreyfuss,
Danny Huston, Billy Zane, Maria Bello, David Clennon

Independent film-maker John Sayles puts forth working-class spirit to lampoon the George W. Bush administration in the ambitious Silver City, the director’s 15 th film.

Heading a cast with nearly two score of speaking parts is Chris Cooper (Adaptation) as Richard “Dickie” Pilager. The setting is Colorado where Dickie is running for governor. Jud Pilager (Michael Murphy) is his father, a longtime senator who has much political pull in the state. Daddy is spinning the wheels with business developer and media magnate Wes Benteen (Kris Kristofferson) who can get a not-so-bright buy like Dickie into office.

There’s a distinct pattern of Dubya mannerisms in Cooper’s espousing of Dickie from expressions to sentence structure. Though the controlling powers around him restrict Dickie from being a more rounded character of the Sayles oeuvre.

Sayles, who writes and edits here again, shoehorns the greed around Dickie through a route that calls to mind Raymond Chandler or even the seminal Chinatown. While Dickie is on the campaign trail at a Colorado lake, a Latino migrant worker is fished out and the case is deemed a homicide.

Richard Dreyfuss plays Dickie’s campaign manager, Chuck Raven, with fiery gusto and wit. Raven takes it upon himself to retain a disgraced reporter turned detective, Danny O’Brien, acted with increasing assurance by Danny Huston, son of the esteemed late director John Huston.

Silver City straddles different genres and has a lot going on outside the box, as a whodunit gradually unravels within the sun-drench Colorado landscape. Maria Bello (The Cooler) has some good scenes with Huston as a journalist and ex-lover. This low-budget feature also has solid backup from Billy Zane as a lobbyist who once dated Bello’s Nora and Daryl Hanna (Kill Bill) as Dickie’s alluring, estranged, and insecure sister.

While not as rich and balanced as Sunshine State and Lone Star (which also starred Cooper and Kristofferson), Sayles has many characters who get into the act of corruption that permeates the society in which we live.

Silver City

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