Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Most of the excellence of Glengarry Glen Ross comes from Mamet's play/script--Willie Lowman updated with an '80s conservative revolution cold-hearted capitalist edge. I can't decide whose performance is best because the entire cast is on point: Alec Baldwin is perfect and soul-less as a steely merciless executive; Jack Lemmon is the most earnest Lowman imaginable, a veritable slick Willie; Alan Arkin and Ed Harris are two of the greatest character actors of their generation and don't miss a beat; Kevin Spacey is oily and clueless and spot-on; and Al Pacino--well, Al hits one last role out of the park before deciding that en lieu of acting he'll just shout his lines.
I dug it lots, and unlike many late-80s early-90s flicks, this one holds up. When one's work is trying to sell rather than make or do, the Marxist 'alienation from labor' is exponentially increased. Nothing has meaning for these characters except cash and ranking. Arkin's character says "I can't close. Something stops me, something inside." He can't acknowledge that the protestations originate in his conscience.