I have been a fan of Joel and Ethan Coen since ‘Blood Simple’. ‘Fargo’ may have won the Oscar but ‘Millers Crossing’ is their best flick hands down.
Tom Reagan (played brilliantly by Gabriel Byrne) finds himself playing both sides of a gang war during the prohibition era. Veteran actor Albert Finney is Leo O’Bannon, an old school Irish boss that runs an entire town; from owning the mayors office and police department to having other mobsters pay him kickbacks to stay in business. The underrated Jon Polito is Giovanni ‘Johnny Casper’ Gasparo, an Italian boss that is tired of answering to Leo and thinks he can a win a war against him. This is classic noir and told so well, even people not familiar with the genre will develop a great appreciation and respect for the style. This flick is perfect from the cinematography, set design, to dialogue. You get so caught up in the double crosses, you almost forget to laugh when you hear a great line………and of those there are plenty.
I’ll never be able to say enough great things about Gabriel’s performance. Our hero has the weight of the world on his shoulders but you’d never know it. Tom stays cool in every scenario he's in and you’re left in awe at his ability to play people. This is one for the collection.