The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010)
With a title like that and a poster like this one would expect a traditionnal yet entertaining piece of action flick full of testoterone and fueled with explosions and car chases. Well, one shouldn't be more surprised! Yes it is a story about guns but not what you would have expected.
George Clooney, or the Cary Grant of his generation, portrays a lonely American gun handcrafter chased by Swedes. Hiding in Italy, he's asked to craft a gun with specific demands. He slowly discovers the reason why the gun has been made and he starts to fear and paranoid on everyone he meets and gets involved with.
The rythm of the film is very slow and it could make you think of a Jim Jarmusch film. There's not much dialogues but everything is in the frame and told in images. Corbijn plays with the Hitchcock grammar with close shots and many inserts. Many scenes are filled with mute tension between the characters and the action is depicted as Corbijn wants.
It's a film that may not concern many film viewers because, like the old man Hitchcock used to say, the chase must be better than the catch, and yes it is. But the chase is dedicated to those who like long instalments and subtle cinema. Well, it's not the main preoccupation of the moviegoers of today... They ask for fast food and Fast and the Furious, instead of good old simmer food and North by Northwest. It's a very good film that is not the best of the year but a strong effort that I hope won't be forgotten by the cinephiles...