Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


SWIMMING WITH SHARKS (1994). Director: George Huang.

Guy (Frank Whaley) wants so badly to make it in the movie business that he becomes an assistant to an egomaniacal asshole named Buddy Ackerman (Kevin Spacey) and puts up with his mood swings, nastiness, and abusiveness until something finally pushes him over the edge. Most of the movie consists of flashbacks as Guy makes Buddy a prisoner in his own home. Intriguing suspense-drama holds the attention, but what really puts it over is the acting, especially by an amazing Spacey. Whaley is also excellent, as is Michelle Forbes as a producer named Dawn with whom Guy has an affair. Benicio Del Toro also scores as Buddy's last assistant, who tries to teach Guy the ropes. The ending is unrealistic but cynical. This is no Citizen Kane but there's a character named "Foster Kane." Whaley and Forbes have done mostly TV work since this film was released.

Verdict: Quite entertaining with a marvelous Spacey. ***.

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