Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Limey ***1/2 (1999)

A neo-noir from 1999, Steven Soderbergh's The Limey is a revenge tale told with verve and poignancy.  It gets better with each viewing.

The Limey begins with cockney ex-con Wilson (Terence Stamp) arriving in Los Angeles to investigate the death of his daughter. He's a stranger in a strange land. Eventually Wilson learns aging record producer Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda) could be responsible for her death.

The passage of time figures prominently in The Limey, a theme reinforced by an editing style that evokes a spinning wheel narrative.  A circular story, instead of a linear one.

The Limey also plays upon the cultural memory of the 60s, specifically the lost hopes and ideals of the decade. Many conversations in the movie reflect on the passing of time and the need to make sense of the past. Soderbergh went as far to include clips from the 1967 film Poor Cow, which starred a younger Terence Stamp.

A combination of razor sharp editing, top notch acting, and stunning daylight cinematography mark The Limey as a modern classic.

Also, don't miss the DVD commentary track with Steven Soderbergh and veteran screenwriter Lem Dobbs. They openly discuss their creative differences and the challenge of adapting the written word to the screen.

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