Projections - Movie Reviews

The Player

Tim Robbins (Bull Durham, Cadillac Man) is a motion picture executive who reviews scripts. That much may be apparent in this very clever, twisted, plot-within-a-plot, tightly-paced film.  There is no boundary between reality and the filming of the studio.

The first scene is critical to understanding and appreciating the skilled screenplay.  It is a long opening shot which begins in an office on the movie lot and moves in and out and around the lot as the characters and their personalities are introduced to the audience.  It is cleverly staged and a joy to watch.

Robbins looks like a big Doogie Howser - not as an adult - just bigger.  He carries off the unreal plot with a background of Hollywood stars making appearances in roles at parties and events which are styled to be part of the Hollywood scene.  Think of a star and expect to see him or her in the film.  Gretta Scacchi plays Robbins' lover.  They share a very hot love scene in which only their faces are on the screen.  She even looks sexy when pregnant.

Over all this is a spoof of the use of power in Hollywood which is no different than the use of power in business or politics.  The ambitious ones get ahead but they meet the same people on the way down as they met on the way up.

Pay attention to the opening scene and enjoy a clever, tense, bright screenplay as you attempt to understand the reality in the film.  This is a triumph.  It is the best I've seen in a long time.

The Player


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