July 2001
The Score

Reviewed by Wilson Morales

The Score

Distributor:Frank Oz Scene from The Score
Screenplay By:Kario Salem, Lem Dobbs and Scott Marshall Smith
Music By:Howard Shore
Cast:Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando and Angela Bassett

People say that the summer is a time when mindless films come out and lots of special effects are used to catch our attention. The key is to make huge splashes at the box office and make household names out of the young, new talent invading the scene. What is lost is that the art of success lies within the substance Scene from The Score of the film. If it can grab your attention and stay in your mind for a while, then the film becomes critically successful. The way to accomplish this is through acting, and when you have four highly experienced thespians with a few Oscars, you’re in for a special treat. “The Score” is a film where the acting is solid and the story is simple, with a twist.

Robert De Niro plays Nick, a nightclub owner and a thief in the night. In his own set of rules, Nick doesn’t believe in stealing within his city of residence, which is currently Montreal. When he’s ready to retire and settle down with his girlfriend Diane (Angela Bassett), his fence Max (Marlon Brando) comes up with one more score to pull off. With much reluctance, Nick agrees to the job, but is less enthusiastic when he has to work with a young, impatient thief played by Edward Norton. Neither wants to work with the other but finds that each has a skill the other lacks, so they Scene from The Score reach a truce. More complications arise when the location of the heist goes against Nick’s rules and Max’s not forthcoming with the details of the job. Hence, this is one dangerous score to accomplish.

What makes this film a pleasure to watch is the actors involved. The set up to the main event is somewhat slow, but it’s worth the wait. Oz, who is mostly known as the voice of “Yoda” from and “Star Wars” films and has directed a number of comedies including “In and Out,” has done a nice job with this drama piece. The film may seem stage-like at times, but the acting is at its best. De Niro has had better films to date, but he really plays the elder thief with intense passion. Norton’s role as the thief with many personalities may remind you of his first film “Primal Fear.” He always shines when given the chance to play multiple personalities. His career is definitely riding high when his role is much larger than the legendary Marlon Brando, who turned in a magnificent supporting performance considering he hasn’t had a role like this since yesteryear. Bassett’s role is really a throwaway. Anyone could have played her part, but if you need someone credible to walk through those scenes with De Niro, who’s better? The suspense isn’t forced as some films are. With so many summer films lacking substance, this film is a real a gem when you observe the combined work of art. See it TODAY.


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