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Jackie Brown Movie Review

grier robert jackson forster

Pam Grier took no guff during her glory days as an action queen on-screen, nor does she here as Jackie Brown. The difference now is that she's been around the block so many times, she knows the drill all too well. It is ennui more than adrenaline that separates her from the low lifes who would use her for their own reasons. The startling element in Jackie Brown is a long, slow, sweet romance between stewardess Jackie and bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster). It surprises them both and their attachment adds unpredictability to the rest of the story. We know how everyone else is going to act: Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) will continue to be his shameless rotten self; Melanie (Bridget Fonda) will continue to play dumb, until alas, out of force of habit, she truly IS dumb; Michael Keaton does everything but wear a billboard as federal agent Ray Nicolette; Robert De Niro kills time until he kills; and so forth. But the unguarded expression of a man head over heels in love and Jackie's cautious response tend to knock all the other shenanigans out of the ball park. When the other characters twiddle their thumbs in Quentin Tarantino's 155-minute adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Rum Punch, that's all they do. But when Grier and Forster play it slow, their every moment together is a skillful dance on fire and ice. You can't just be gorgeous, you have to be damn good to play it as well as they do and they both have Oscar nominations and career revivals to prove it.

1997 (R) 155m/C Pam Grier, Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton, Michael Bowen, Chris Tucker, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Tommy (Tiny) Lister, Hattie Winston, Aimee Graham; D: Quentin Tarantino; W: Quentin Tarantino; C: Guillermo Navarro. Nominations: Academy Awards ‘97: Best Supporting Actor (Forster); Golden Globe Awards ‘98: Best Actor—Musical/Comedy (Jackson), Best Actress—Musical/Comedy (Grier); MTV Movie Awards ‘98: Best Male Performance (Jackson); Screen Actors Guild Award ‘97: Best Actress (Grier). VHS, LV, Closed Caption

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