The Score (2001)

dir. Frank Oz. Set in Montreal, Robert De Niro stars as a high-end thief, teaming up with newcomer Jack (Edward Norton), to take down a big score, organised by middle-man for valuable stolen goods, Max (Marlon Brando). I love a good heist film, and this is so much fun. I was predisposed to enjoy this film, it’s about a charismatic cat burglar who owns a jazz club, and is in a relationship with Angela Basset, and his name is Nick. The only movie where Robert De Niro and Marlon Brando act together, after both playing the same role of Vito Corleone in the Godfather films. Edward Norton is perfectly smug and condescending as the young thief. Robert De Niro and Angela Basset have great chemistry together, it’s very sweet to watch them interact. I love watching De Niro hanging around his jazz club, talking with the staff and drinking whiskey. Brando’s last film, and he’s charming as the dodgy operator, making De Niro laugh.


dir. Terry Zwigoff. Based on Daniel Clowes’s 1990s comics of the same name. Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) best friends who have just graduated high school, looking for an apartment together, find themselves involved in the private life of blues record collector, Seymour (Steve Buscemi). A wonderfully weird film. Often described as a black comedy, but more of a romantic comedy about post high school friendships, with an intelligent and subversive sense of humour. Enid and Rebecca are delightfully cynical, and genuinely funny together. The opening sequence with the clip from Bollywood film GUMNAAM (1965) has to be one of the best openings to a comedy ever. Enid’s bedroom is perfectly designed, as the sanctuary of a serous thinking, art obsessed teenage girl in the 1990s. The translation of the visual style of the comic to the screen is perfectly done, the colour palette is overly saturated when we’re with Enid and Rebecca, never feeling cartoonish. The ending is beautiful, and open to interpretation, but I do wish we had more time with Enid and Rebecca rather than checking back in on Seymour. Brilliant soundtrack, which introduced a generation of high school art nerds to American blues music.