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Matchstick Men

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Alison Lohman, Bruce McGill, Bruce Altman, and Beth Grant
Directed by: Ridley Scott

 

 

Matchstick Men is viciously entertaining to watch thanks to a mesmerizing performance by Nicolas Cage as a man with more than a few personal idiosyncrasies. Right from the start as the stylized credits ricochet across the screen to a Bobby Darin soundtrack you know Ridley Scott's directing and settle in for a tasty treat of a diversion!

The story goes…Roy (Nicolas Cage) and Frank (Sam Rockwell) are small time conmen aka matchstick men. They hustle unsuspecting folks for their life savings and so forth.

Frank's kind of Roy's protégé. He's a quick learner and is already a hankerin' for a big score. Roy's just not ready. Frankly it's all Roy can do to get out the door each day, as he's also a card-holding member of the agoraphobic obsessive compulsive disorder club of America. The little pay offs, which he squirrels away, keep him contented.

But when Roy suddenly discovers his long lost marriage produced a daughter named Angela (Alison Lohman) - and the daughter wants to meet him - he starts to think about that one last score; for her sake.

Angela's not exactly a bible-carrying-candy-striper-Mandy-Moore style teenager. She's quick to cozy up to "dad's" less-then-legal ways of obtaining cashola and wants in. Roy is oddly pleased his little girl's got his keen eye for a sucker and shows her a small con. He also advises, as any good father would, this was a once in a lifetime deal. It's been swell but the swelling's gone down!

Meanwhile Frank's ecstatic Roy has finally agreed to do a big job and sets the con in motion. It's a simple money laundering scam with a saffron infused twist that should leave the two very wealthy men.

Then as the gig comes together Angela is accidentally thrown into the middle of the set up and things go horribly wrong - natch. Roy's about to learn a lesson about bamboozling the hard way…

The story has huge faux pas and omissions of reality but Nic "slurp-o-rama" Cage is so good he makes any threads of disbelief that start to knit within your mind untangle as you watch his delightfully entertaining performance! He kind of cons you into humor nirvana.

nicolas cageNic-o-la-yum-ious is proving he's truly genius when he's out of a serious role (Leaving Las Vegas aside...) and into the skin of a quirky palooka. And of course even as "Roy" with his rapid-fire twitches, sudden snorts and percolating phobias the man wreaks havoc upon my heart; in other words I'd still jump on him like a rabid Rhesus monkey given the chance…

This Alison Loman is as adorable as she is talented. She more than holds her own beside Mr. Cage who's snorfing and blinking his way into yet another academy award.

Sam - dollop of manly man - Rockwell is another extreme talent. He's not given much here to exude his abilities…but usually.

Run and see this impeccable performance by Cage and for crimeney's sake don't start to dissect the plot or you'll get all upset. Just enjoy.

Snack recommendation: Chicken of the Sea solid white tuna from the can and a cigarette or two.

The Emilyism Dictionary

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