Projections - Movie Reviews

State and Main State and Main

Often irreverent and funny, it's what you would expect from this sharply drawn Hollywood satire from David Mamet who again possesses an edgy charm that evokes Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks.  Usually, the creator of Things Change and House of Games sparkles with his delectable blend of irony, wit, and whimsy, and here the putative roadway title lets the talented writer/director do what he does best.

Walt Prince (William H. Macy) is the director of "The Old Mill" as he "shoots first, and asks questions afterwards."  But it just happens that Waterford's old mill went down in flames in 1960 and Walt's new writer (Joe) Turner White (Philip Seymour Hoffman) almost gets the boot from making light of the matter.

Yet, Walt has to deal with his lead star, Bobby Barrenger, a wickedly delightful Alec Baldwin who has a hobby for a local cutie, Clara, played coolly by Julia Stiles.

The female lead, a crafty Sarah Jessica Parker, won't bare her breasts having found a new spirituality in her life, through one retorts that, "she'll take her shirt off to do a voice-over."  Producer Marty Rossen, a deviously amusing David Paymer, flies in from California "to cool the broad down."  He bribes Parker's Clair Wellesley with eight hundred thousand dollars after telling the bimbo that she's headed for public access on bazoomer.com.

State and Main shows Mamet in strong derisive from as the townies and crew of "The Old Mill" become almost one extended family with per screen averages and inflated grosses becoming the talk of Waterford.  This is a gift for fiction that Mamet displays with a zest that zings the best that Hollywood has to offer.

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Kathleen
Avg.
State and Main
C+
 
 
A-
B-
B
A Top Ten pick for 2000
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