Chicago Sun-Times - 04/22/2009
"It tells many interweaving stories and is skillfully cast with actors who embody precisely what their rolls call for....Repulsively fascinating and has been directed by Gregor Jordan as a soap opera from hell, with good sets and costumes."
The first film based on a book by postmodern transgressor Bret Easton Ellis to also count the author's name among its screenwriting credits, THE INFORMERS is lit with a cold, cologne-commercial sheen not unlike the one that charged AMERICAN PSYCHO (2000) with a sensation of sharp disconnect. But rather than an absurdist satire (an approach that director Gregor Jordan rejected by excising the original script's vampire subplot and oddly lighthearted tone), this sprawlingly dreamlike drama is an interlinking-narrative mosaic about (mostly) young and rich lost-soul Californians who, tragically, barely register as they struggle below a thick layer of decadent superficiality in the mid-1980s. That it's closer in mood and subject matter to the early Ellis adaptation LESS THAN ZERO (1987) than to such later interpretations as PSYCHO might be a reflection of the source material, a collection of short stories that Ellis wrote in college a full decade before they were published in 1994.
THE INFORMERS's ensemble cast consists of the up-and-comers (Jon Foster, Lou Taylor Pucci) that populate the cadre of fair-haired kids who sleep with each other to vainly suppress their depression, and, as the broken adults who surround them, a bevy of veteran actors known for riding the line between character performer and movie star (Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger). From both camps come characters whose buried longings and heartbreaking battles with morality only flicker and occasional twist just below their dead gazes. Brad Renfro is an exception, however, as a compromised hotel doorman--the addled heart he wears on his sleeve leads to a lonely redemption. Something similar can be said about the not-quite-so-noble Informers frontman Brian Metro (Mel Raido): as the British rock star tours California, his tortured hotel-room debauchery sends a cascade of strangely galvanizing sadness over the movie's adjacent storylines.
In his bestselling novels (American Psycho, Less Than Zero), author Bret Easton Ellis established himself as a modern chronicler of decadence, and a writer who reveals the dark shadows behind lives of wealth and glamour. Academy AwardŽ winners Billy Bob Thornton (Best Adapted Screenplay, Sling Blade, 1997) and Kim Basinger (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, L.A. Confidential, 1998), Academy AwardŽ nominees Winona Ryder (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Little Women, 1995) and Mickey Rourke (Best Actor in a Leading Role, The Wrestler, 2009) star in an interweaving tale, which unfolds in Los Angeles in the decadent 80's: a city ruled by addictions of every type - from sex, to drugs, to power - where youth is wasted, where love is fleeting, where every night is a headlong rush to the next orgy of sensation. Sooner or later, the party has to end ...and the hangover is bound to be a killer. Also starring Chris Isaak, Brad Renfro, Amber Heard (Pineapple Express) and Austin Nichols (TV's "One Tree Hill"). Featuring 80's flashback music loaded with tracks from 'new wave' recording legends.
AIDS (Disease) |
Based On A Novel |
Los Angeles, California |