Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tales of a Jackrabbit

Author(s): D.W. Dillon
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

“Tales of a Jackrabbit"

Directed by Barry Levinson
Written by Tom Stoppard
Music by Brian Setzer

Genre: Crime/Drama

Principal Cast:

Leonardo DiCaprio - John Dillinger
Jeremy Davies - Lester Herbert
Bruce Cambell - Uncle Jack Herbert
Dianne Wiest - Aunt Polly Herbert
Jennifer Jason Leigh - Abby Rockefeller Herbert
Emily Blunt - Flo the waitress
Sarah Clarke - Anna "Lady In Red" Sage
Chris Isaak - Agent Melvin Purvis
Benjamin McKenzie as Baby Face Nelson

Tagline: “Life lessons learned from gangsters...priceless”

Synopsis: Lester Herbert (Jeremy Davies) is an ordinary and straight-arrowed bank-teller in 1950s Chicago, married to one of the richest heiress' in the country, Abby Rockefeller Herbert (Jennifer Jason Leigh). But when his dryness personality and uneventful lifestyle wears thin, she ups and leaves. Now divorced, the emotionally lost Lester Herbert moves in with his outrageous Uncle Jack (Bruce Cambell) and sweet Aunt Polly (Dianne Wiest), where he hopes to figure out where it all went wrong or wallow in pity. To help his brokenhearted nephew, Uncle Jack takes him on a journey around the great city of Chicago, telling him tales of the infamous bank robber of the 30's, John "The Jackrabbit" Dillinger (Leonardo DiCaprio). How he dashingly robbed banks with crazed gunman Baby Face Nelson (Benjamin McKenzie), romanced the women, gave his wealth to the poor, escaped jailhouses, and dodged FBI Agents (Chris Isaak) with wit and flair, living life on the edge, and to the fullest. Sightsing famous Chicago landmarks that Lester had seemed to ignore all these years, finds a new respect for the city, all the while growing the courage to move on and score a date with a beautiful waitress (Emily Blunt). Uncle Jack suggests a good first date would be the infamous Biograph Theater where it was said that Dillinger's good friend and associate, prostitute Madame Anna Sage (Sarah Clarke) tipped off the FBI to his whereabouts, leading to a deadly gunfight. While Lester and his date sit and watch Paul Muni's "Scarface" on the big screen inside the theater, Lester begins to put the pieces together about who his uncle really is. He was bread to be a conservative every-man, but Lester has got more in his blood and genes than he ever knew.

What the press would say:

Acclaimed filmmaker Barry Levinson (Bugsy, Rain Man) takes on his sixth directorial outing with guns a-blazin' and hearts a-meltin' with "Tales of a Jackrabbit." Adapting Tom Stoppard's masterful screenplay about a down and out bankteller who finds solace and inspiration in the stories of notorious bankrobber John Dillinger, after an outing on the town with his Uncle Jack. Setting the film in the 1950s that flashback to the Dillinger era of the 1930s, Brooks sharply intertwines two era's with precision and detail. And detail is too small a word for the illuminating performance of Leonardo DiCaprio as John "The Jackrabbit" Dillinger, who's charisma would amaze even that of the vivacious Dillinger, himself. Dicaprio channels the cinematic flair of gangster picture movie star George Raft to deliver a mesmerizing performance. But the biggest suprise in the film is Bruce Cambell. Finally arole that will, in no doubt, garner his first of hopefully many Oscar-nominations, as he portrays an wise and wily storytelling uncle. Jeremy Davies and Benjamin McKenzie round out the strong cast. Davies with his immense dramatic talent drives the film, while McKenzie's unpredictable Baby Face Nelson holds his own opposite Dicaprio's Dillinger. This heartwarming tale of self-discovery through the life of the real 'prince of thieves' is ambitious and grand, that is sure to entice audiences, dazzle critics, and amaze the academy.

Best Picture
Best Director - Barry Levinson
Best Actor - Leonardo DiCaprio
Best Actor - Jeremy Davies
Best Supporting Actor - Bruce Cambell
Best Supporting Actor - Benjamin McKenzie
Best Supporting Actress - Diane Wiest
Best Original Screenplay - Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love)
Best Cinematography - Don Burgess (Forrest Gump, Spider-Man)
Best Score - Brian Setzer (The Mask, Riding Giants)
Best Song - "Bankrobber" performed by Brian Setzer and Chris Isaak
Best Editing - Jill Bilcock (Moulin Rouge!, Road To Perdition)
Best Costume Design - Betsy Heimann (Pulp Fiction, Almost Famous)
Best Art Direction - Richard L. Johnson (O Brother Where Art Thou?)

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