Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director

BEST LAID PLANS

USA, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Mike Parker

With echoes of the Coen Brothers' debut, Blood Simple (1984), Best Laid Plans is a noir-ish entanglement of lust, betrayal, theft and murder. At all times it remains a film about the perception of events, reality generated and maintained by the characters' personal version of events. An opening sequence depicts a couple of college chums rehashing old times over drinks. Soon after, one of them is knee deep in trouble, with the threat of rape charges and his entire career in jeopardy. In flashback, events leading to the fateful night are reconstructed, the audience brought up to date and then directed toward the electrifying conclusion.

With nods toward classics of the genre like The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, Mike Barker's film settles on its own pace delivering serpentine twists at key points to throw expectations off balance and reinforce his notion that all is never as it seems.

Nick languishes in a job at a recycling plant in the nowhere town of Tropico. His attempts to get out of debt and his career rut result in bitter disappointment. Meeting Lissa (Reese Witherspoon, Freeway, Pleasantville, Cruel Intentions) is the only decent thing to happen to Nick since his father's death. When he foolishly volunteers to act as wheel man in a drug ripoff, he winds up oul of his depth and in deadly debt to a local crime baron. Nick's solution to his predicament is complicated, precarious and possibly lethal, but his only way out

Barker's cast is further enhanced with the inclusion of Josh Brolin (Flirting with Disaster, Mimic, The Mod Squad) and Rocky Carroll of TV's Chicago Hope as well as Crimson Tide and The Great White Hype. Barker has crafted a suspenseful and cerebral modern morality play that stays true to its purpose to the very end.

See also...

2 SECONDS

Canada, 1998
2 Seconds scooped the prize pool at this year's Montreal World Film Festival. Manon Briand's debut collected Best Director, Best First Feature and Best Canadian Film as judged by both the critics and… More »

A LA PLACE DU COEUR

France, 113
"... A poetic and upbeat celebration of the quiet beauty in unremarkable lives... wonderfully shot and edited with a vivid sense of place and an immensely appealing cast, A la Place du Coeur is a tou… More »

ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE

USA, 1998
Larry Clark's first feature, Kids (1995), was heralded as a realist masterpiece for its powerful veracity. Here, he pulls apart the archetype of the American family, then reconstructs it with the odd… More »

APRIL

Italy, 1998
Nanni Moretti has been touted as Italy's answer to Woody Allen principally for his combination of scathing social humour and consistent use of himself as the sub­ject for his own films. April tac… More »

ARLINGTON ROAD

USA, 1998
A nail-biting exercise in political paranoia featuring first rate performances from leads Tim Robbins and Jeff Bridges. Michael Faraday (Bridges) is rebuilding his life after the death of his FBI age… More »

© Melbourne International Film Festival 2013.

Site by MeccaMedialight. Powered by Textstem CMS.