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Press Conference - Public Enemies - Johnny Depp, Michael Mann, Marion Cotillard


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Saturday, 4 July 2009

Public Enemies, 2009 - Movie Review

Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Johnny Depp, Marion Cotillard, Christian Bale
Running Time: 140 minutes
Score: 9 / 10

Another review for Public Enemies. This one by Pamela Fruendt.

Michael Mann's 'Public Enemies' is a visually stunning, emotionally satisfying and damn near perfect film shot in a crisp documentary style rarely seen today. You are not just watching John Dillinger and friends shoot it out in the 1930's. No, you're the proverbial 'fly on the wall' smack dab in the middle of it and along for the ride. Oh, and what a ride it is! From the shuffling feet and chains in the opening scene to the double hankie gut-wrenching ending ( And I don't mean Dillinger's death. ), 'Public Enemies' is a feast for the eyes and the senses.

Johnny Depp's Dillinger is a man's man full of grit and action and Depp ( 3-time Academy Award Nominee for Best Actor ) dazzles as always. His range of emotions shown throughout the film, particularly those following Billie Frechette's arrest, leaves no doubt as to his acting skill. Depp is the finest actor of his generation.

Marie Cotillard ( Academy Award Winner for 'La Vie en Rose' ) is perfectly cast as Billie Frechette, Dillinger's true love. Her strength and vulnerability and on screen chemistry with Depp is memorable. Cotillard appears in two of the film's most emotional scenes, including one where a chivalrous Melvin Purvis carries her to the bathroom when she can not walk after being brutalized by Chicago investigators. It was a scene I did not expect.

Christian Bale's performance resonates with just the right amount of restraint and 'get the job done' ideology. He is the perfect foil to Billy Crudup's pompous, manipulating J Edgar Hoover. Bale appears in far more of the film then I had expected. His one on one with Dillinger at the Crown Point jail is priceless. Their verbal barbs remind me of two tom cats circling one another looking for signs of weakness.

The supporting cast, generally left to unrecogizable actors in lesser films, is a kalidescope of known faces. Some linger on the screen. Others, you'll have to look for or you'll miss them. British actor Stephen Graham is outstanding as Baby Face Nelson. Never have I seen an actor take such pleasure in killing his fellowman. Those to look for include: Lili Taylor ( Arizona Dream ); Channing Tatum ( Fighting ); Emilie de Ravin ( Lost ); Giovanni Ribisi ( The Dog Problem & The Rum Diary ); and Leelee Sobieski ( 88 Minutes ). And don't forget the fantastic 'Public Enemies' extras - each and every one of them. They are the true fabric of the film.

Finally, are there gaps in the film? Of course. Is everything explained? No. But the audience is the 'fly on the wall' and we see enough. 'Public Enemies' is not your typical spoon-fed summer fare. You're going to have to work a bit with this film. Dare I say concentrate? Look at it this way, the R rating means you don't have to contend with children throwing popcorn and climbing over the seats. Thank you, Michael Mann. Thank you.

Check out my time at the Public Enemies press conference with Michael Mann, Johnny Depp and Marion Cotillard.

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