Rating: The Ugly – 64.5 Genre: Thriller Duration: 99 mins Director: Tom Holland Stars: Timothy Hutton, Lara Flynn Boyle, Faye Dunaway
Daft as a brush but forgivably sardonic, Tom Holland’s The Temp is a fast and loose thriller about an executive’s beautiful but sinister assistant whose recent arrival coincides with a number of accidents that move both her and her increasingly suspicious boss up the ladder. Timothy Hutton is the beleaguered exec, Laura Flynn Boyle, his self-appointed but apparently unstable cat’s paw while Faye Dunaway and Oliver Platt play their cut throat co-workers. With its unpredictable plot and outlandish progression, The Temp scores for its sheer uniqueness but with the writer-director of the quirky Fright Night pulling the strings, it’s also a riot of rather well disguised black comedy too. Contrasting dark tones of paranoia with over the top villainy, there’s barely a scene that won’t elicit a crooked smile. However, so unorthodox is its execution that the sarcasm is perhaps too well disguised. As often as not, the movie comes across as a tad unsure of itself and even erratic. In these moments, it can let the audience slip through its fingers despite the best efforts of Hutton and co. In the end, it all unravels rather resoundingly but, at the very least, it maintains its eccentricity.
Rating: The Good – 76 Genre: Crime Duration: 132 mins Director: Sidney Lumet Stars: Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton, Armand Assante
Sidney Lumet’s gritty adaptation of Edwin Torres’ novel is a criminally unrecognised tour de force of acting, screen writing, story, and characterisation. Nick Nolte plays an old school hard-as-nails lieutenant who is been investigated for murder by a hot shot new assistant district attorney (Timothy Hutton) in a case involving Italian American and Puerto Rican organised crime. Hutton is more than decent as the naive idealist but he is helped by slew of charismatic performers such as Armand Assante, Luis Guzman, and Charles S. Dutton. Nolte, on the other hand, blows everyone off the screen as one of cinema’s most intimidating bad guys. We know all about Lumet’s crime drama credentials and while a little more flashy that Serpico or the Prince of the City, Q & A can proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with them as a fantastic trilogy of corruption in the New York police department. There is a weakness unfortunately in the form of the love interest. Jenny Lumet (daughter of Sidney) is clearly out of her depth and given her unconvincing sub-plot one wonders if it was simply a vehicle to get her into the film.