Leah and I ventured out and saw 25th Hour last night.
What an intense, haunting movie it was! Edward Norton and Phillip Seymour Hoffman both were superb — Norton at his hard-ass intense best, Hoffman all dumpy and doubty and troubled.
A Spike Lee film, it felt to me the most accomplished of his that I’ve seen in a while — the over-arching, desperate race-relations stories that populate (and sometimes overwhelm) many of his films has been muted to merely a presence, sitting on the shoulders of the characters: there, but not a focus. This film is haunted by numerous entities that haunt the characters. The spectre of 11/9/2001 being perhaps the least expected and most noticeable. It casts a dull pall over the entire story, somehow muting the significance of it, yet seriously raising the stakes at the same time — the collapse at a time of rebirth, collectivity.
I’m truly amazed that this film didn’t garner more publicity, or any real oscar notice (I do recall it getting pretty good critical notice when it was first released). I urge everyone to go see this film.