Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Last lullaby - Subdued but not a Snoozer

I meant to write this review a loooooong time ago, however my laptop committing seppuku before my eyes kept me from my pulpy duties.

The Last Lullaby is a midwest noir film with Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander.  It is written by Max Allan Collins (whose name should be familiar to all you pulp fans out there) and directed by Jeffrey Goodman.

Sizemore - in a very subdued, nuanced performance - plays former assassin named Price who has retired to a small town in the Midwest only to find that boredom creeps in when you're no longer living an adrenaline filled life.
The Last Lullaby plummets Price back into his old life and forces him into a corner from which he may never escape. Price's old ways no longer work for him when his heart opens, and he finds life beyond his profession.  The tension finally comes to a head as Price must decide to close himself off again or open himself up to a world beyond his control.

 This movie took awhile for it to stoke my interest. It's a slow burn and very much the opposite of something like 24 which is my usual bill of fare. That said, it does grow on you as Sizemore and Alexander grow together as characters.

Rounding out the cast are a bunch of very familiar faces that make you feel right at home with this movie.  I suppose that's appropriate to the overall mood one gets from this film - a sense that dirty deeds are happening in the corner restaurant you know so well, or right on main street, USA.  It's something you don't see from Hollywood films and the landscape of rolling hills, trees and suburban Midwest life adds a level of calm to the otherwise incendiary proceedings - that slow burn I alluded to earlier.

(which is ironic given the shoot took place in Louisiana, but reinforces the idea that it's the state of mind in the story and not necessarily the location that gives Lullaby its level of calm)

What's really nice is seeing Sizemore actually acting in this movie. He shows a level of restraint and control here that is in keeping with an assassin - quiet, calm, getting the job done. Acting not just reacting.  Alexander is a spinster-ish version of her usually glowing self which works for her character.

Lullaby has played the festival circuit and if you get a chance go see it.  It's not what you would expect and all the better for it.

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