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Movie Review: The Good Thief

Story: Irish writer, director Neil Jordan (The End of the Affair, The Butcher Boy, Interview With the Vampire and The Crying Game) has done a great job of loosely remaking Jean-Pierre Melville's 1955 Bob le flambeur. The '55 film was the basis of such heist capers as the Ocean 11 kind of film.

Like previous noir type films this one involves a heist with a cadre of societal fringe lugs but Jordan adds much to the mix. He creates characters that we care about and who seem to care about one another. They all seem somewhat familiar and are easy on the eye.

It is a stylish, fast paced, cinematic visual feast. The film takes place mostly a night and Jordan makes delicious use of jump cuts, quick freezes and blue tones to set the scene. If you like Nick Nolte, capers, art, a good soundtrack and a terrific get away from your everyday woes - check this film out.

Acting: Nick Nolte is perfect as Bob, the perpetually recovering addict whose vices include heroin and gambling. The part was made for him. The parallels to Nolte's personal life were difficult to ignore. He is used, hard worn, has life lessons written all over his body and face and is able to get the audience to sympathize with his character. When he is on the screen he fills it up. His performance is nuanced and flawless. Bravo to this man! The supporting cast is stellar. A bunch of likable lugs all giving the film added atmosphere and depth. Ralph Fiennes has a cameo appearance that added to my movie buddy's enjoyment of the film as well.

Predilection: See above - I am a BIG nick Nolte fan.

Critters: Race horses.

Food: I can't recall any food -- just booze and drugs as intake.

Visual Art: My oh my -- a visual delight - Picasso, Van Gogh, Modigliani , etc., etc., etc. Art has a very large role in the heist.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Wonderful. From Puccini to Bono with blues and jazz in the mix.

Opening Titles: Oddly enough - I can't recall anything. I think I was too busy looking for Nick Nolte, sorry.

Theater Audience: Not crowded at all, as expected, for an opening day on a mid- week afternoon.

Quirky Meter: 2 (anything with Nick Nolte has an edge).

Predictability Level: Even with the plot twists and turns I pretty much figured out what was going to happen.

Oscar Worthy: I always think Nick Nolte should get a nod as he was robbed by not getting the Oscar for Affliction.

Nit Picking: Not one nit to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: The big screen for sure. For some Nick Nolte rentals how about these favorites of mine: Nightwatch, Affliction, U-turn, Afterglow, Mother Night, Lorenzo's Oil, The Prince of Tides, Q and A, Farewell to the King, Three Fugitives, New York Stories, Weeds, Down And Out in Beverly Hills, Cannery Row, 48 Hrs., North Dallas Forty, Heart Beat, Who'll Stop the Rain? The Deep.

Length: A bit under the two hour rule.

LOBO HOWLS: 8