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Highly recommended to people who enjoy independent films with  all the components that make it a classic cult film.   In an outstanding directorial debut for Lee Daniels he demonstrates a level of maturity that can take many good directors decades to reach.

:-)  :-)  :-)  :-)  

Ratings explained

The conversational style is akin to french films.   The plot is  intricate and innovative akin to English gangster films.   The  New York settings and characters are colourful.   I experienced the film  as a blend between Nikita, Terminator and Lock Stock and two smoking Barrels with a touch of Pulp fiction thrown in.   If you like those  4 films,   you will probably enjoy this one.   Cuba Gooding Jr as the inscrutable lead and Helen Mirren as the, red, Rose provide  weighty lead performances.    Music fan’s will enjoy the  parts well executed by  Macy Gray and Mo’nique.   The film has a sombre mood throughout with diverse music from a french sounding piano accordian through a classical Cello solo backing a poignient moment  to soul music,   all  literally setting different tones.

The unusual plot unravels at an even pace that is easy  to follow and gripping in its twists and turns.    Helen Mirren takes  a role  that is  not a role  commonly given to a female.   There are seamingly surreal, or real life, touches like  a Zebra roaming the night-time shots  of a mansions garden,   Jessie  at ladies night, that add amusement if they capture your eye.   Careful product placement Wild Turkey bourbon and social-cultural  indicators,  red nail varnish, chain smoking, drinking build the atmosphere.   Stylistic lighting with shifts between realistic outdoor colours and colour-themed indoors shots or fuzzy-edged back-lit romatic outdoor shots.

shadowboxer
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