Its 11:45 pm
This is my 5th attempt to write this review…..not because of the movie but because I’m a bit blocked as of right now. But I have coffee and the cheetah is downstairs looking out his window and the day of college football is over.
I picked up “Trouble” at my Family Video store as a blind buy. The cover looks a little intense but don’t be put be off by it,its a twisty somewhat gentle comedy-drama with an outstanding cast led by Bill Pullman and Anjelica Huston playing a estranged brother and sister who are headed for trouble.
The film hits the ground running,well ok,jogging as Maggie (Huston) is enjoying her morning cup of coffee. As she stands in her kitchen,she hears a backhoe being used and goes to investigate,she pretty much knows who is causing a ruckus and sure enough,its her younger brother Ben (Pullman) behind the wheel.
Not only is he tearing up the ground,he has also squatted by placing a small trailer on the property as well. Maggie goes ballistic and demands him to leave,when Ben refuses,Maggie goes and gets Sheriff Logan (Brian D’Arcy James). When Ben and Maggie’s dad had died,he left them the land to share but Ben had sold his half to Maggie. He feels Maggie had underpaid for the land because he was in trouble. He feels swindled.
By the look on Logan’s face,this land dispute is not a new problem and he has had to deal with Maggie and Ben before. He goes to see what is going on while Maggie keeps yelling at Ben to leave. She also yells at Ray (Victor Williams) whose company owes the backhoe and his assistant Curt (Jim Parrack) a ugly looking redneck. Its when Maggie sees Gerry (David Morse) then she gets the most upset with but Gerry defuses her by telling Maggie this situation is a bit funny and that she is looking good. She storms off back to her home.
The next day Ben drives up to Maggie’s house and as he stands there,we see in flashbacks just how close Maggie and Ben were at one time. They are with their father doing fireworks and then planting the flowers and shrubs together as a family.
Back in the present,Ben cruelly uproots and destroys several of Maggie’s plants before driving away,of course when Maggie sees this,she pays Ben a visit and puts a .22 round in his shoulder.
Maggie drops Ben off in the hospitial but is arrested for shooting him. Maggie is bailed out and she too,is starting to remember her childhood and she starts to rethink her actions…until she finds out that Ben has checked himself out and is once again on her land. Now both parties are looking for the paperwork to prove each other wrong as more and more people are getting caught up in Maggie and Ben’s troubles.
When Ben reveals his plans to swindle Maggie to Gerry and Curt,we see in another flashback that Gerry has been a childhood friend of the family and its really hurting him to see Ben and Maggie fight especially knowing both haven’t had the easiest of lives with Ben’s struggles and Maggie losing her husband a year ago. What Ben doesn’t know (or does Maggie) is Gerry has carried a torch for Maggie all of his life and that he isn’t going to allow Ben to carry out his plan.
Something has to give and give soon if this family is going to survive past their troubles.
“Trouble” is written and directed beautifully by Theresa Rebeck who has produced and written on some fine shows like “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”,”Smash” and “NYPD Blue”. “Trouble” is the second film Theresa has directed but she has knocked it out of the park because “Trouble” is very good.
If you enjoy smartly (and a little Mamet like writing) acted films,then you’ll really like this one. The cast is amazing from top to bottom….it was liking watching master class in action. Huston and Pullman are perfect as Maggie and Ben. While its easy to blame Ben as the one who is stirring things up,Maggie’s protests ring just a slightly too loudly and you know there is something she knows but is sitting on. It doesn’t excuse Ben’s actions but you can understand him better.
Of course David Morse steals the movie,he may be the most underrated actor I have seen…he really is that good and he delivers here as well as Gerry the friend who loves Ben and Maggie both. But being IN love with Maggie and his shy and careful steps around her are charming. It also shows just how reactive and defensive Maggie has been all of her life when she overreacts to Gerry’s having 3-5 pictures of her displayed in his home. Its just a gesture from a man who wants to talk but is respecting Maggie’s loss.
Morse carries the weight of the feud more then Ben and Maggie but neither care to notice it until Gerry decides to end it.
Jim Parrack as Curt is also a scene stealer,his portrayal of a redneck with a secret of his own is spot on. He is loud,crude,crass,filthy and plain gross…..and Parrack is perfect. His kissing scene with Julia Stiles is funny and also stomach turning and definitely won’t make any “Best Kiss” lists anytime soon!
“Trouble” reminded me a small bubbling creek,flowing gently with a couple of rocks sticking up,it hit a snag but you just won’t care….
This is another fine release from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment,they have been releasing a lot of fine movies as of late.
“Trouble” is 1 hour 41 minutes long and is rated “R” for language. There are no extra features.
The Cheetah and I gave this one a big thumb/paw straight up.
What Anjelica Huston,Bill Pullman or David Morse film is your favorite?
Drop a comment below and share it with us….