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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Picking Up The Pieces (2000)

A Texas butcher (Woody Allen) married to the town tramp (Sharon Stone) is tired of her infidelities. So he murders her, dismembers her body and crosses the state line to New Mexico to bury the pieces except he drops her hand along the way not far from a small poverty stricken desert village. When a blind woman (Lupe Ontiveros) stumbles upon the hand, her sight is restored and when the hand begins curing everything from Palsy to pimples, representatives of the Roman Catholic church are sent to determine if the miracles are a result of the hand belonging to the Virgin Mary. Directed by Alfonso Arau (LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE), this outrageous black comedy is pretty much a one joke pony but it gets every bit of mileage out of that joke. Granted, a lot of it falls flat but a lot of the zingers hit their mark, too. The screenplay by Bill Wilson has a wicked sense of humor and rather than a moral fable, he allows greed, killing and mob vigilantism to not only go cheerfully unpunished but triumph! The cinematography is courtesy of three time Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro (APOCALYPSE NOW). With Joseph Gordon Levitt, Kiefer Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Fran Drescher (as a nun!), David Schwimmer, Lou Diamond Phillips, Andy Dick, Eddie Griffin, Cheech Marin, Kathy Kinney and Maria Grazia Cucinotta (THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH).

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