Screening review of ‘Above Suspicion’

Director Phillip Noyce has been screening “Above Suspicion” to select blogger critics in Los Angeles, though no release date has been announced yet.

Here’s one excellent review posted this week on Jeffrey Wells’s influential “Hollywood Elsewhere,” under the headline “The Girl from Lonesome Holler.”

Some excerpts:

On Emilia Clarke’s performance: “Tart, pushy, believably pugnacious, Clarke is English-born and raised, but you’d never know it. Her Susan is the Real McCoy in the manner and mindset of trailer-park trash. But she’s also affecting … What Clarke delivers, trust me, is a lot more than the usual collection of redneck mannerisms. … It means something that I wound up feeling genuinely sorry for this spunky, self-destructive, long-dead woman whom Clarke brought back from the grave.”

About the movie itself: “…I can say straight and true that “Above Suspicion,” which is based on Joe Sharkey’s 1993 true-life novel [my note: the book isn’t a novel; it’s factual  narrative journalism, reported directly through the real characters] is a triple-A,  character-driven genre flick (i.e. rednecks, drug-deals, criminals, lawmen, murder, car-chases) of the highest, smartest order. …

On director Phillip Noyce: “…There have been a small handful of films that have  portrayed rural boondock types and their tough situations in ways that are honest and real-deal. My top three are John Boorman’s “Deliverance,” Billy Bob Thornton’s “Sling Blade” and Lamont Johnson’s “The Last American Hero,” [“Above Suspicion”] certainly deserves to stand side-by-side as a peer … Noyce always delivers with clarity and discipline but this is arguably the most arresting forward-thrust action flick he’s done since “Clear and Present Danger.” Plus it boasts s smart, fat-free, pared-down script by “Mississippi Burning’s” Chris Gerolmo; some haunting blue-tinted cinematography by Eliot Davis (“Out of Sight,” “Twilight”) and some wonderfully concise editing by Martin Nicholson.”

The bottom line: “Above Suspicion” damn sure feels like an early ’70s film. I can tell you that. I mean that in the most complimentary way you could possibly imagine…”

The link is here.

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