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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Grand Canyon (1991)

When an immigration attorney's (Kevin Kline) car breaks down in a dangerous "ghetto" neighborhood, a black tow truck driver (Danny Glover) arrives in time to help him and possibly save his life. As the men come to know each other, their lives become intertwined. Directed by Lawrence Kasdan (THE BIG CHILL), this is a thought provoking and well intentioned piece of film making. I just wish I couldn't see the strings being pulled. This view of Los Angeles sinking into a morass of apathy and violence has been done better. The Oscar winning CRASH and the recent THE INVITATION come to mind. Kasdan is an optimist or at least takes the high road when it comes to his view of humanity though there's (thankfully) still a bit of cynicism to go round, notably in the crass movie producer played by Steve Martin. But for the most part, it's about the gap between races and cultures inhabiting the same space (L.A.) and how our lives touch each other whether it's a kind gesture or an act of fate that can change our lives irretrievably. The movie could have used a little more edge rather than sentiment but then again, Kasdan is just not that kind of director. Wonderful score by James Newton Howard. With Mary McDonnell, Alfre Woodard, Mary Louise Parker and Jeremy Sisto.

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