INSIDE MAN & SPIKE LEE
I was surprisingly impressed with Inside Man. I went in with lowered expectations because Spike Lee’s last major release, She Hate Me, was appalling. However, I have enjoyed most of his earlier films and was not disappointed with his latest. Aside from a few grainy flash-forward scenes, Inside Man did not showcase typical Spike Lee flair. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Jodi Foster play such a morally ambivalent, manipulative character, but she nails this role with a smarmy grin to accompany her corporate sheen. Denzel Washington applies his usual wit and charm to the film, but manages to supersede his sex symbol status with a convincing performance as an everyman with a cheap, cluttered apartment in NYC. As is the case in many of his films, Spike Lee’s love of New York is evident and appreciated in Inside Man. In 2002, he was the first filmmaker to highlight the city and feature the altered skyline (in 25th Hour) after the tragic events of 9/11.
This brings me to a sensitive issue. The preview trailer for United 93 is now airing before certain films. Each time I’ve seen it, the audience around me has squirmed and whispered. On one occasion my movie companion even started crying after watching it. So perhaps I am not the only one who is not ready for this film. In my personal opinion, it is too soon and too fresh in our history. I’m not sure I’ll ever see this one.