March 19, 2004

Matchstick Men (Capsule Review)

Nicolas Cage is twitchingly endearing for a criminal in this con artist genre film. Matchstick Men tells the story of Roy Waller, a man who has lost his way in life, but found his true calling as a fast-talking practitioner of grifting. He’s also found a partner in Frank Mercer (Sam Rockwell), a partner who helps Roy pull himself from obsessive-compulsive hell after he loses his medication.

A series of events leads him to encounter what may have been missing in his life all along, a relationship with his daughter Angela (Alison Lohman).

When we’re unhappy, we can be our own worst con men, convincing ourselves that we can’t change, that we have to be a certain way, and that we’ve got to be miserable for the rest of our lives. Perhaps its a cliché to have the young girl come in and turn Roy’s well-ordered world upside down, but when she wants to learn her father’s business, a wrinkle becomes the possible unraveling of the fabric of his life. You can’t really look to other people to fill the gaps in your life. You have to start with what’s between your ears. When so many of your problems are in your head, sometimes the solution is there too. Even if it comes in the form of a new problem.

Posted by James at March 19, 2004 2:21 AM
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