Thursday, May 17, 2007

Victim's Gold Stars: #3: Watching Over The Flock

THE TOP TEN: #3: The Good Shepherd

It's hard to believe that this is only Robert De Niro's second film as director- he has such superb control on the rhythms of every scene, such imaginative touches, such unusual stylings, that it feels like a director whose been working for years and is finally experimenting with things. The Good Shepherd is about the CIA, sure, but it's not a spy thriller- this is gripping in all sorts of ways, it's tangled web of deceit, corruption and morality snaking all over the place, and it's a credit to De Niro, his superb cast, and screenwriter Eric Roth that the audience doesn't fall through the spider's web and into confusion. The Good Shepherd doesn't patronisingly indulge in overblown confrontations or expositional monologues or breathless chases the way you might be expected- no, De Niro lets the emotional weight of the story slowly build, gently nudging it along until it finally collapses on top of you.

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