review by Carrie Gorringe, 21 September 2001

26th Toronto International Film Festival

Playwright/Director David Mamet (State and Main) has now returned to familiar genre territory, namely, the aging master thief sent out to make One Last Score before flying (or, in this case, sailing) off to a well-deserved retirement in the Tropics, well under the radar of law enforcement. In Heist, Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) and his beautiful young wife, Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon), have just pulled off a major robbery and are ready to collect their share and sail off. Not so fast, says their slimy fence, Bergman (Danny De Vito), you have to do one more job for me, and include my dimwitted nephew, Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell), in your team. Provided everything goes well, I'll give you your share from both jobs and everyone can sail into their respective sunsets. No cooperation, no shares. Joe's longtime cohorts, Bobby Blaine (Delroy Lindo) and Pinky Pincus (Ricky Jay) think this comes under the heading of A Really Bad Idea, but, out of loyalty (not to mention a lack of choice), they stick by Joe. The plan involves the hijacking a plane and stealing the gold while the plane is still on the runway, a relatively simple situation for criminals with their skill level. As usual in these cases, however the loveliness of theory is intersected by the ugliness of reality…How many unpredictable forces and incidents might lead to failure?

Mamet, who directed and wrote the screenplay, keeps everything moving briskly. His pacing is immaculate: strong action sequences followed by The problems lie in his dialogue, which, despite its trenchant analysis, always seems somewhat forced and excessively arch; it's infinitely quotable, but somewhat self-consciously so (when asked what makes the world go around, Joe replies, in typical Mamet fashion, "Love…love of gold is what makes the world go around."). The acting is so flawless that the actors seem to just melt seamlessly into their roles. Most notably, Pidgeon (a.k.a. Mrs. Mamet) is more relaxed and sexy than she has been in previous roles with her Jean Seberg look (no doubt a resemblance deliberately chosen by her husband to emphasize her character's amoral streak). She is all subtly icy insouciance and, despite her perky appearance, a convincing noir-ish femme fatale; she makes you believe that she could sell anyone for a nickel. Heist, on the other hand, is not an entertainment sellout.

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Written and
Directed by:

David Mamet

Gene Hackman
Delroy Lindo
Rebecca Pidgeon
Danny DeVito
Ricky Jay
Sam Rockwell

R - Restricted.
Under 17 requires
acompanying parent
or adult guardian.







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