Sunday Moment of Zen: Sneakers

You may not have seen Sneakers. If that’s the case I have seven reasons why you should rectify it: Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Sir Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, Dan Ackroyd, River Phoenix and David Strathairn. The cast is ridiculously good and the story, following a group of e-security specialists who get in way, way over their heads, is clever, complex and most of all, fun. This is an action movie with almost no action. A quietly odd, skewed joyous little movie about how sometimes being one of the smartest people in the room isn’t something you should hide.

This film didn’t save my life. I did. But it did help.

This scene, which is spoilerific by the way but nowhere near as much as the other one I almost went for, sees Bish and Cosmo meet for the first time in years. Redford and Kingsley are on top form here and the script and music and direction all just meld with their performances in a way I rarely see. Look at the empty man art in the background, the two empty men talking in front of it. Look at where they’re sitting, what they’re sitting on, the messianic curdle of the music as Cosmo reveals just how off the reservation he actually is. Most of all, look at the way these two brilliant men fall back into patterns of speech and interaction they haven’t used in decades, and then, look at what happens when they realize that those decades have changed them. This is brilliant film making from one of the three films that made me fall in love with San Francisco long before I went there and did so for real. This is also your Sunday Moment of Zen.

 

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