12/13/10 15:17 Filed in: Cool Stuff
At the heart of this stark tale lies the axiom "live by the sword, die by the sword."
Beautifully shot by Anton Corbijn, The American so definitively places you in Italy you'll feel you need a passport to see it.
The film has a slow pacing; no quick cuts or cinematic gimmicks. Instead what you get are precise and beautifully framed panoramas and tight shots of Clooney et al.
One scene that stands out in particular is when George Clooney takes Thekla Reuten's character to his secret hiding place to test a custom-made rifle he's built for her. A fellow assassin, Reuten just feels untrustworthy and dangerous. Maybe it's her piercing blue eyes, strong nose and flared nostrils. Whatever the case, that scene is a testament to Corbjin's virtuosity and ability to set up a tense scene without overly relying on a heavy score.
This is not a feel good movie by any stretch, but in this age of "look ma, I shot this on a camcorder," The American stands apart as a true-to-form cinematic experience. This film was crafted by industry professionals and there's no faking that.