Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Veil of Sin

Author(s): Tony
Location: Pittsburgh

“Veil of Sin”

Directed by Joel Coen
Written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Produced by Eric Fellner
Music by Carter Burwell

Principal Cast:

Dan Hedaya as Detective Frank Weemer
Steve Buscemi as Barney Penn
Peter Stormare as Sherman Whitehead
Fran Drescher as Kathie Weemer
Anna Faris as Darma Weemer
William Forsythe as Mark Logan
Malcolm McDowell as Albert Baxter
Cary Elwes as Elliot Cavanaugh
Judah Friedlander as Zach Bryan

Tagline: “Sworn to serve and protect, this is non-compliance"

Synopsis: Loving husband, caring father, honest cop, these words don't apply in the life of Frank Weemer. Husband to Kathie and father to Darma, Frank's position in life is on bad terms. A wife that's constantly bickering and feels as if she's 20 years younger, and a daughter that can count all the abortions she's had on two hands, Frank is on the verge of insanity. But one thing that Frank always appreciated was his work, and if his home life wasn't bad enough, work is down as well, with all his partners and fellow detectives feel as if Frank's washed up and doesn't have "it" anymore.. which leads to no cases, and more time at home. Frank knows where his life is leading, and he decides to take charge.

Despite Frank being a local detective and family man, Frank always had a brilliant mind, and ways to manipulate the average person, which made him a good detective. Frank must do something drastic in order to resurrect his career, Frank knows what he has to do. It was a dark, rainy night when Zach Bryan was walking home after a slow night working at the In and Out Burger. In the dark alley lies a killer in the waits, choosing his victim randomly. He digs his knife into Zach Bryan fast and quiet, as Zach takes his last breath, as Frank Weemer looks down at his solution to sanity. The next day the murder is on the front page and is the talk of the town. Frank begs for the case, telling his head boss Mark Logan it'll be his last case before he retires. Gradually, Logan gives him the case. The killer is smooth, he doesn't leave any traces, finger prints, nothing. He's a ghost, and it's only the beginning.

The forensics are done with the body, and Frank is clear, and a serial killer will soon be on the loose. However, every psychopath needs an partner, and to help Frank is his long time friend and brilliant mind Barney Penn. Months go by as the case gets deeper, with more victims showing up. The case is getting popular, the media is getting involved, and Frank Weemer is lead investigator. Victims such as a long time Dairy Mart manager Albert Baxter is murdered the same way, and local shrink Elliot Cavanaugh. Of course, it must end some time, so Weemer decides when the time is right, the frame will go on his long time college nemesis and rival detective Sherman Whitehead. For the first time in ages Frank feels recognized, feels wanted, of course things at home are still the same, but work balances it out.

Half a year goes by and the case is dying. Over 10 victims have felt fault to the "Sinner of San Jose" as the papers like to call him, as Franks reputation starts fading away once again. What must be done now? Things at home are getting worse with the wifes annoyance only increasing and the daughters hormones rocketing. The Sinner of San Joe has read Franks name all over the papers, and decides to make it personal. With the help of his accomplis, the Sinner eliminates the Weemer family, and the case is hot.

How long will Weemer keep this up? Will Franks dark secret ever be found out? And who else will fall victim to the most brilliant psychopath the country has ever seen?

What the press would say:

I am relived my readers. Once I read that the Coen brothers wanted to get back to their original roots, I was overwhelmed to hear that one of the most highly acclaimed black comedic writers was making another big impression to the big screen. Of course doubts ran through my mind at times, until I entered that theater and witnessed some great cinematic achievements in front of my eyes. This film is everything I wanted it to be and more. "Veil of Sin" has the elements of Blood Simple, hints of Fargo, and the laugh out loud ability that The Big Lebowski provided us, all into one, simply stunning. A best director nod to Coen should be the books along with some writing credit as well.

What a wonderfully drawn cast we have in this film. Without a doubt this is Dan Hedaya's biggest role of his career, normally known for his minor roles, either playing a side comic police officer, or evil crime boss, Hedaya shines and it's hard to forget a performance like this. The eyes can say a lot of things, and when you look into the eyes of Frank Weemer it can either put chills down your spine, or make you laugh hysterically, or both. To back him up is a brilliant supporting cast led by crazed man Steve Buscemi. Although a little quiet recently, Buscemi always had that eye and wit to know what the Coens wanted from him, and once again his supporting role should greatly be appreciative, where at times he looks just as crazed as Weemer. And finally we move to Fran Drescher, I can't think of another woman that fits the role more perfect, perfect to the point where you psychically feel the pain that Weemer is going through in the scenes at home. Her actions are arrogant, her voice is aching, and it's just what the Coens wanted. A sleeper film this is not, I'd put this film into serious contendership with some of the other brilliant showings of the month, Veil of Sin is a remarkable feature that leads you to believe "how can this be a comedy", but that's what makes the Coen brothers work even more astonishing, the fact that this is one of the most intellectual black comedies I've seen in decades.

Possible Nominations

Best Picture - Eric Fellner, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Best Director - Joel Coen
Best Actor - Dan Hedeya
Best Supporting Actor - Steve Buscemi
Best Supporting Actress - Fran Drescher
Best Original Screenplay - Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Best Film Editing
Best Original Score - Carter Burwell

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