I used to refer to Al Pacino as a cartoon character. He was always so loud, so over the top. But then came his awesome performance as The Devil (Satan, Lucifer, The Father of LiesÖoh, he has so many names) in The Devilís Advocate. There he needed to be over the top anyway, and it was perfect
Then came Any Given Sunday, Oliver Stoneís great study of a fictional football team where Pacino was the coach, and he was still kinda over the top, but really great too.
In Insomnia Pacino is as low key as I have ever seen him (which I admit, isnít all that muchÖI just donít see many "Mafia" movies), and heís really, really good.
This film, by the newest "hot" director in Hollywood, Christopher Nolan, who last brought us the brilliant MEMENTO, brings a well respected L.A. detective, Pacino, to Alaska to solve a grisly murder. But Pacino also has some other things on his mind, and the never setting sun, the omnipresent daylight, itself almost a character in this film, wreaks havoc with his ability to perform his duties.
Pacino is really impressive in this movie.
The whole cast is on target here, Hillary Swank as an eager detective. Martin Donovan as Pacinoís partner. Nicky Katt from TVís Boston Public as a proud local detective, all do great jobs.
I was a little disappointed by Robin Williams, but not because he was bad, because in truth he was excellent. Actually, divulging my slight disappointment may be a bit of a spoiler, so Iíll just reiterate that Williams was excellent in his role.
Also in Insomnia is a talented and very attractive young actress, Katharine Isabelle, who was recently in the little seen but quickly becoming cult classic, Ginger Snaps, a really interesting and witty take on the werewolf theme.
As good as Nolanís directing is, and he shows flashes of brilliance here, I was very impressed by the script by Hillary Seitz. Not only did I care about the characters, but the dialogue never seem forced. And Pacino said "fuck" a lot. And I dunno, but Iím just a lowly payroll clerk, and I say "fuckĒ a lot. Too much actually.
I have to believe that a detective whoís seen so much ugliness in his life is bound to say "fuck" quite a bit.
I also wanted to mention that the music by David Julyan, in particular during the opening credits, was very good. Sort of like a ballsier, less whimsical Danny Elfman.
I liked it a lotÖ
I was hoping to be blown a way by Insomnia, but wasnít.
But still, itís a very good movie with some great performances, and I do recommend it.