Directed By: Spike Lee
Written By: David Benioff (screenplay and novel)
Starring: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper and Philip Seymour Hoffman
I always thought there were 24 hours in a day. I guess I was wrong.
This film is a slice of the protagonist’s life before he spends 7 yeas in the clink.
Normally, I like Spike Lee movies better when he also writes them. Luckily, 25th Hour seemed to be a good compromise: it is still set in the New York City that he knows so well, he managed to sneak in a little diatribe about racial tension and used his floating character dolly shots.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, or as I know him, PSH, is one of the most talented actors in the biz. His list of classic characters that he has played is immense (Big Lebowski, Twister and Capote). He has rarely disappointed me, even when he takes on a shitty movie like Pirate Radio. In 25th Hour, he manages to capture the subtlety of his inappropriate High School teacher character, while giving him some humanity. I will gush more about PSH in the next film I review that he is in (I think he might be in the next Hunger Games, boo hiss).
Also in this movie is Barry Pepper, who may be one of the most underrated actors. He puts together a heavy performance, with a tough exterior shell and tender interior, like a lobster or crab. I hope I get to work with him one day.
What makes this film great is the simplicity of the story and how it relies on mood alone to carry it. If I was being sent to jail for 7 years, I think it would suck as much as Edward Norton’s character makes you feel.
A great one to revisit if you’ve already seen it and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?
Problem: Crucial element unexplained
Mood for watching: Gangsta
What to eat and drink: Street meat and champagne
If I made it: I would continue making movies with PSH in them
Why watch: It’s a Spike Lee Joint